Categotry Archives: Law

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Archibald Cox

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Categories: Law

Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor who was fired by President Richard M. Nixon for refusing to end his Watergate investigation, died on May 29 of natural causes. He was 92.
The New Jersey native graduated from Harvard University in 1934 and from its law school three years later. He clerked for Judge Learned Hand of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, became an expert in labor law and spent several years working with the National Defense Mediation Board and the Department of Labor.
In 1945, Cox began a long career teaching at his alma mater. In between lectures, he co-wrote the book, “Labor Law: Cases and Materials,” and worked full-time on John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. After Kennedy was elected, Cox was named solicitor general in the new administration. He represented the government on several cases before the Supreme Court then returned to academia in 1965.
When Republican Party operatives broke into the Democratic campaign headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in 1972, Cox was asked to lead a special prosecution force investigating allegations of political misconduct. He would last only five months in the position. In October 1973, President Nixon ordered Cox’s termination for his continued efforts to obtain audio tapes of Oval Office conversations. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus, both refused to fire Cox; they opted to resign in protest. Solicitor General Robert H. Bork, who would later lose a Supreme Court bid, carried out the president’s order. The firing, and subsequent resignations, became known as “The Saturday Night Massacre,” and was considered by many scholars to be the beginning of the end for the Nixon presidency. Nixon would eventually turn over the incriminating tapes and resign from office.
Once his role in Watergate ended, Cox headed the Massachusetts Select Committee on Judicial Needs, which drafted legislation to reform the state’s judicial system. In 1980, he was elected national chairman of Common Cause, a lobby that advocates improvement of the political system.
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Glenn Cunningham

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Categories: Government, Law, Military, Politicians

gcunningham.jpgGlenn D. Cunningham, the first black mayor of Jersey City, N.J., died on May 25 of a heart attack. He was 60.
Cunningham enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps right out of high school. He left the military four years later as a corporal, and joined the Jersey City Police Department. For the next quarter century, Cunningham worked his way up the law enforcement ranks from beat cop to captain, and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jersey City State College.
After retiring from the police department in 1991, Cunningham accepted the post of Hudson County Director of Public Safety. In 1996, President Bill Clinton nominated him for the position of U.S. Marshal for the State of New Jersey. Once confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, he became the first African-American to hold the post.
A registered Democrat, Cunningham won the Jersey City mayoral race in 2001. Once he became the first black mayor of the city, he set his sights on a higher political office. In 2003, the determined politician won a state Senate seat.
When he wasn’t participating in the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee or teaching criminal justice classes at Jersey City State College, Cunningham was a passionate history buff. At the time of his death, he was writing a book on local African-American history.

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Huib Drion

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Categories: Law

Huib Drion, a retired Dutch supreme court justice who prompted the legalization of euthanasia in the Netherlands, died on April 20. Cause of death was not released. He was 87.
Drion was a professor of civil law at the University of Leiden when he founded “De Geus,” a resistance newspaper published during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. The publication included black lists of university employees who collaborated with the Germans. At the time, students were executed for printing anti-Nazi leaflets.
From 1969 to 1984, Drion served as a member, and later vice-president, of the country’s supreme court. But once he retired from the bench, he published several essays on social and legal matters. One such paper, “Voluntary Death for Old People,” sparked a national debate in 1991.
Drion wrote that elderly people who were incurably sick should be able to visit their doctor and receive medication to end their lives. Known in the media as the “Last Wish Pill” or “Drion Pill,” the doctor-prescribed drug would be available for free to people over the age of 70. Drion also suggested that patients receive a combination of two pills to be ingested in one- or two-day intervals so the patient would have enough time to change his or her mind.
In 2002, the Netherlands became the first country to legalize euthanasia for certain terminally ill patients. The Dutch law on doctor-assisted suicide requires patients over the age of 12 to show their decision to die is rational and reasoned, and that they’re subject to “unremitting and unbearable suffering.” A doctor must also be present during the suicide.

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Frank Morrison

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Categories: Government, Law, Politicians

Frank Brenner Morrison, the former three-term governor of Nebraska, died on April 19 of cancer. He was 98.
Born in Colorado and raised in Kansas, Morrison broke from family tradition and became a Democrat during the Great Depression. He graduated from Kansas State University and the Nebraska College of Law, taught for a short period then entered politics in 1934 as a county attorney. After several unsuccessful bids for the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, Morrison decided to run for the governorship of Nebraska.
At the time, Nebraska was predominantly a Republican state. But Morrison’s charismatic personality and oratory skills won the voters’ confidence. From 1961 to 1967, the Democratic governor was best known for building the state’s tourism industry. President Lyndon B. Johnson persuaded him to not seek a fourth term and run for the Senate instead. Morrison followed this advice and lost the election.
In later years, Morrison practice law with his son and volunteered as an anti-war activist. He also discussed his opposition to capital punishment in front of the state’s Judicial Committee. His autobiography, “One Man’s Trip Through the 20th Century,” was published in 2001.
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Joel Feinberg

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Categories: Education, Law, Military, Writers/Editors

jfeinberg.jpgUniversity of Arizona professor emeritus Joel Feinberg refused to add technology to his writing practice. When his colleagues switched from typewriters to word processors to computers, he continued to pen college-level textbooks using only a fountain pen and a pad of yellow notebook paper.

Despite these Luddite tendencies, Feinberg’s books about morality and how it relates to law became standard reading in many college courses. A leading political and social philosopher, his well-respected series, “The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law,” tackled many ethical issues, including capital punishment, the treatment of the mentally ill, civil disobedience, obscenity and pornography.

Feinberg enlisted in the Army in 1944, and served in an officer training program. When he left the service, he earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan. He spent 20 years teaching classes at Brown, Princeton and Rockefeller universities before joining the University of Arizona faculty in 1977. Feinberg retired in 1994 as a Regents Professor of law and philosophy. An award to financially support undergraduate philosophy majors has been established in his honor.

Feinberg died on March 29 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 77.

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