Burton, Harold H.


1954 ALS by Justice Burton, happy to see a group now that hearings are over and opinions are  being written – including Brown v. Board of Education!


Type: Letter
Description: (1888-1964) Cleveland Mayor 1936-40, Ohio US Senator 1941-45 (R), Assoc. Justice 1945-1958. According to Chief Justice Earl Warren’s papers, Burton was influential in bringing about the Supreme Court’s unanimity in the 1954 landmark school desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education.

ALS while Associate Justice written on message side of a ALS while Associate Justice written on message side of a typed-addressed penny postcard, “Supreme Court of the US/Washington DC/April 23 1954”, to Jon Waltz in Washington, likely the Ohio-born future renowned Northwestern University law professor. Justice Burton invites Waltz to call his secretary who will be glad to arrange an appointment for Waltz and his friends. He adds: “We have completed our hearings and are working on opinions so that our schedules are largely in our own hands now. Cordially yours Harold H. Burton”

The Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, which held that state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional, even if the segregated schools are otherwise equal in quality, was announced on May 17, 3-1/2 weeks later!

Jon R. Waltz (1937-2005) Northwestern University law professor 1964-96, earning a reputation as a stellar scholar and expert in evidence and trial procedure. Raised in Delta, Ohio, he graduated with honors from the College of Wooster in 1951 and Yale Law in 1954 where he was one of the editors of the law review. During the next decade, Waltz was a lawyer with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Cleveland, punctuated by 3 years of service with the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. In 1969 Waltz advised lawyers of the Chicago 7, radicals who were accused of conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which earned him a secret security file with the military. He consulted with government agencies, incl. the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Commission on Civil Rights and the National Institutes of Health. Ill. Gov. Thompson appointed him to the state Judicial Inquiry Board in 1980. Waltz wrote and co-authored 12 books, 27 law review articles and book chapters, and contributed to a number of major periodicals, including book reviews for the Chicago Tribune. He co-wrote “The Trial of Jack Ruby,” a national best seller, and “Cases & Materials on Evidence,” a premier casebook on the subject.

Condition: Very good

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