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The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark

DesegregationSchool PrayerFourth Amendment5th AmendmentVoting RightsCommunismMexican American Civil Rights

AboutAbout Tom Clark

Clark, Tom C. (Thomas Campbell), 1899-1977

Justice Tom C. Clark


Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court,
1949 -1967.

Box 171, Folder 60.

Tom C. Clark is, to date, the only Texan who has ever served on the Supreme Court of the United States. Born in Dallas, Texas, September 23, 1899, Clark received his law degree from the University of Texas in 1922. He joined the Justice Department in 1937 and rose through the ranks. President Truman appointed him U.S. Attorney General in 1945. In 1949, Truman appointed Clark to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Clark resigned from the Court in 1967 when his son Ramsey Clark was appointed Attorney General, and afterwards sat on the Courts of Appeal in all eleven U.S. Circuits and in federal district court. On the court, Clark was a staunch supporter of civil rights. He was also well-known for his support of anticommunist policies during the Cold War. Clark's greatest legacy is in his tireless efforts to improve judicial administration. He chaired several American Bar Association committees on judicial administration, helped found the National Judicial College, and was the first director of the Federal Judicial Center. In his remarks at a 1985 symposium on the Tom C. Clark Papers, UT Chancellor Mark Yudof said of Clark, "In life, he awakened a generation of lawyers and judges to their professional responsibilities."

The Handbook of Texas Online: Tom Clark

Chronology
   
1899
Born in Dallas, September 23.
   
1922
Received law degree from The University of Texas. Began practice with his father's law firm in Dallas.
   
1927
Appointed Civil District Attorney for Dallas County.
   
1933
Began law partnership with William McGraw.
   
1937
Appointed an assistant to the U.S. Attorney General in the Roosevelt Administration. Assigned to the War Risk Litigation Section; never lost a case. Transferred to the Antitrust Division.
   
1942
Coordinated the internment of Japanese-Americans on the West Coast. Although supportive at the time for security reasons, he later called his involvement one of the biggest mistakes of his life: "We picked them up and put them in concentration camps. I am amazed that the Supreme Court ever approved it."
   
1943
Appointed Assistant Attorney General. In charge of the Antitrust Division; in charge of the Criminal Division; argued and won his first case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
   
1945

Appointed Attorney General by President Truman.

   
1949
Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Truman.
   
1956
Chairman of the American Bar Association's Section of Judicial Administration.
   
1961
Chairman of the American Bar Association's Joint Committee for the Effective Administration of Justice.
   
1967
Retired from the U.S. Supreme Court to avoid any appearance of conflict arising out of President Johnson's appointment of his son Ramsey Clark as Attorney General.
   
1967-77
Traveled extensively in support of the improvement of the judicial system and its administration. Sat on the Courts of Appeal in all eleven Circuits. Sat as trial judge in U.S. District Courts.
   
1968
Appointed the first Director of the Federal Judicial Center.
   
1977
Died in New York City, June 13.


 

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