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Mr. GEORGE SUTHERLAND, for the Committee, presented the following:
RESOLUTIONS Edward Douglass White, ninth Chief Justice of the United States, was born in Thibodeaux, Lafourche Parish, State of Louisiana, on the 3d day of November, 1845, and died in the City of Washington on the 19th day of May, 1921.
When but sixteen years of age, and yet at school, the Civil War broke out. He thereupon laid aside his books, returned to his home, and, as a private of infantry, espoused the cause of the Confederate States.
After the close of the Civil War, he undertook the study of the law, and in 1868 was admitted to practice at the Bar of the Supreme Court of Louisiana.
In 1874, he was elected to the State Senate, in which body he served for four years, when, by appointment, he became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. He faithfully discharged the duties of that office until the reorganization of the Court in 1879, when he resumed the practice of the law. On March 4th, 1891, having been elected by the Legislature of Louisiana, he assumed the office of Senator of the United States, which he filled with distinction until February 19th, 1894.
By appointment of President Cleveland, and with the immediate and unanimous consent of the Senate, he then became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Sixteen years of service as an Associate Justice so firmly established his reputation and character as a jurist that, upon the death of Chief Justice Fuller, President Taft, himself a lawyer of distinction and of a different political party, commissioned him on December 12th, 1910, Chief Justice of the United States.
On December 19th, 1910, he assumed the central seat upon that historic Bench, from which, with ability unsurpassed, he fulfilled until his death the duties of his greatest office.
Of his seventy-five years of life, almost one-half was devoted to the public good, six years in the service of his native State, and thirty years in that of the Nation, which he served with singleness of purpose and intensity of devotion.
As Associate Justice and Chief Justice, together, for twenty-seven years, he labored upon the Bench of this great Court, and, by patience, courtesy and fulness of learning, combined with an exceptional ability to grasp and corelate, not only intricate masses of detail, but divergent systems of law, he constructed for himself, while striving for the benefit of others, a monument as enduring as the Court itself.
What he said aptly of his immediate predecessor is applicable precisely to himself:
His “labors find an enduring memorial in the reported decisions of the Court rendered during the long period of his service.
They have become the heritage of his countrymen, for
whose good he labored with untiring devotion.” It is accordingly resolved by the members of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States here assembled, speaking for the membership of that Bar at large and voicing the grief of their brethren throughout the United States:
That the services of the late Chief Justice constitute a notable contribution to the achievements of the great tribunal of which he was so long an illustrious member; that by his modest bearing, his sense of kinship with his fellow-men, his wholesome outlook upon life, and his vigorous support of American institutions and ideals, no less than by the height of his intellect and the depth of his learning, he has left to his countrymen a memory at once an ennobling inspiration and a priceless example.
It is further resolved that the Attorney General of the United States be requested to present these Resolutions to the Court and to move their inscription upon its records; and that the Chairman of this meeting send a copy of the Resolutions to Mrs. White as an expression of the sympathy of the American Bar.
Mr. GEORGE SUTHERLAND
The resolutions presented by your committee and which I have just read constitute but an inadequate expression of the high regard in which the memory of the late Chief Justice is held by the American bar. Indeed, to those who knew him both on and off the bench, and, still more, to those who were so fortunate as to be numbered among his intimate friends, no language which could be employed to estimate his character or describe his great personality would seem to be entirely sufficient. There was a charm which went with his learning, a gentleness woven into and through the fabric of his strength, essentially of the spirit, which no words can quite express, and which only those who came within the circle of close and familiar association are able entirely to appreciate. A great lawyer, a judge of clear and vigorous apprehension, a scholar of rare attainment and insight, he brought to the discharge of his official duties an intellectual ability which has never been surpassed in our judicial history. With his comprehensive knowledge of legal principles, his keen and discriminating judgment, his wonderful power of logical analysis and facility and felicity of expression, the judicial opinions which he handed down not only satisfied the coldly critical faculties of the lawyer but brought delight to the sensibilities of the lover of literary excellence as well.
I am sure I speak the universal sentiment when I say that no man of our profession, in our time, has possessed in more complete measure the admiration, the respect, as well as the affections, of his brethren of the bench and bar.
Mr. Chairman, I have the honor to submit these resolutions and move their adoption.