Minton, Sherman

▪ United States jurist
born Oct. 20, 1890, near Georgetown, Ind., U.S.
died April 9, 1965, New Albany, Ind.

      associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1949–56).

      Minton was the son of John Evan Minton, a farmer, and Emma Lyvers Minton. He attended Indiana University, where he graduated in 1915 at the top of his class in the law college. The following year he earned a master of laws degree at Yale Law School, where he helped to organize the university's legal aid society. He then moved to New Albany, Ind., where he began private practice. His legal practice was interrupted, however, by the onset of World War I, in which Minton served in the infantry and held the rank of captain. After his tour of duty ended, Minton returned to his legal practice and became active in Democratic Party politics.

      Minton's political career began in 1933, when he was appointed counsel to the Indiana Public Service Commission, in which capacity he was responsible for reducing the state's utility rates. The following year he won a seat in the U.S. Senate, where he quickly ascended through the ranks, holding both party whip and assistant majority leader positions. Most fortuitously, he served alongside fellow Democrat and future U.S. president Harry S. Truman (Truman, Harry S.).

      In the Senate (1935–41) Minton was a champion of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt (Roosevelt, Franklin D.)'s New Deal programs, including his court-reorganization (“court-packing”) plan. Defeated for reelection in 1940, Minton was appointed special assistant to Roosevelt and was responsible for coordinating military agencies, and he lobbied on behalf of Truman's proposal to establish a Senate committee on national defense. In May 1941 Minton was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, on which he served until Truman nominated him to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Wiley B. Rutledge (Rutledge, Wiley B, Jr.) in 1949; despite the opposition by some conservative senators, because of Minton's support of the New Deal and the court-packing plan, he was confirmed (48–16) by the Senate on Oct. 4, 1949.

      Minton's judicial record was one of conventional conservatism. Along with Truman's other judicial appointees (Fred Vinson (Vinson, Fred M.), Tom C. Clark (Clark, Tom C.), and Harold Burton (Burton, Harold H.)), Minton was instrumental in curtailing the liberalization of speech and criminal codes that characterized the Roosevelt court. In cases involving free-speech claims or alleged subversives, for example, he was particularly supportive of legislative regulatory authority. In an important opinion in United States v. Rabinowitz (1950), Minton reversed a lower-court ruling that search warrants must be procured when “practicable,” declaring that the Fourth Amendment prohibited only “unreasonable searches.” In 1951 he sided with the majority in denying speech rights to American communists (Dennis v. United States) and upheld Truman's loyalty program in the case of Joint Anti-fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath, which validated the federal government's requirement (1947) that federal employees pledge loyalty to the U.S. government and the establishment of loyalty boards to investigate potential disloyalty. The following year he wrote the opinion of the court in Adler v. Board of Education of the City of New York, which permitted the termination of public school teachers based upon disloyalty to the country and membership in certain organizations.

      Despite his conservative orientation, he was firmly committed to civil rights. This was apparent in the spate of restrictive covenant cases that entered the Vinson court in the late 1940s and in other civil rights cases that came before the court under Chief Justice Earl Warren (Warren, Earl). Minton was a strong supporter, for example, of the court's decision to invalidate racial segregation (segregation, racial) in public education in Board of Education of Topeka (Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka). In failing health, he retired from the court in October 1956.

Brian P. Smentkowski

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Minton, Sherman — (1890 1965)    Born in Georgetown, Indiana, Sherman Minton graduated from Indiana University in 1915 and Yale Law School in 1916 and established a law practice in Albany, Indiana. He served in the infantry in France during World War I and… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Sherman Minton — Infobox Judge name = Sherman Minton imagesize = caption = office = Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court termstart = October 12 1949 termend = October 15 1956 nominator = Harry S. Truman appointer = predecessor = Wiley Blount… …   Wikipedia

  • Sherman Minton — En este artículo se detectaron los siguientes problemas: Necesita ser wikificado conforme a las convenciones de estilo de Wikipedia. Carece de fuentes o referencias que aparezcan en una fuente acreditada. Por favor …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sherman Minton Bridge — Infobox Bridge bridge name= Sherman Minton Bridge caption= The bridge as seen from Main Street in New Albany official name= also known as= carries= 6 lanes (3 upper, 3 lower) of Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 150 crosses= Ohio River locale=… …   Wikipedia

  • Sherman Minton — Richter Sherman Minton Sherman Minton (* 20. Oktober 1890 in Georgetown, Floyd County, Indiana; † 9. April 1965 in New Albany, Indiana) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Minton — may refer to: Contents 1 People 2 Organisations 3 Places 3.1 Fictional places 4 See also …   Wikipedia

  • Sherman Minton — Mandats Sénateur de l Indiana 3 janvier 1935 – 3 janvier 1941 Prédécesseur Arthur R. Robinson Successeur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Minton — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Greg Minton (* 1951), US amerikanischer Baseballspieler Phil Minton (* 1940), englischer Jazz Sänger und Trompeter Sherman Minton (1890–1965), US amerikanischer Politiker und Jurist Thomas Minton… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Minton — n. family name; Thomas Minton (1765 1836), English pottery maker founded the pottery factory in Stoke on Trent (England); pottery made by Thomas Minton at Stoke on Trent (England); Sherman Minton (1890 1965), United States jurist, associate… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Minton — biographical name Sherman 1890 1965 American jurist …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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