Abe Fortas

Abe Fortas



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Abe Fortas nació en Memphis, Tennessee el 19 de junio de 1910. Sus padres eran judíos rusos que habían llegado a los Estados Unidos a principios del siglo XX.

Fortas estudió en la Facultad de Derecho de Yale. También fue editor en jefe del Yale Law Journal. En 1933 se trasladó a Washington donde trabajó para el Departamento de Agricultura. Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Fortas trabajó en el Departamento del Interior.

Después de la guerra, Fortas se unió a Thurman Arnold y Paul Porter para establecer la empresa Arnold, Fortas y Porter. Eventualmente se convirtió en uno de los bufetes de abogados más importantes de Washington.

Lyndon B. Johnson se postuló para senador por Texas en 1948. Su principal oponente en las primarias demócratas (entonces un estado de un solo partido, las elecciones disputadas ocurrieron en las primarias, no en las elecciones generales) fue Coke Stevenson. Johnson ganó por 87 votos, pero Stevenson lo acusó de manipular las papeletas. Stevenson obtuvo una orden judicial que impedía que el nombre de Johnson apareciera en la boleta de las elecciones generales. Fortas representó a Johnson en esta prolongada disputa. El caso fue investigado por J. Edgar Hoover y el FBI. Johnson finalmente fue absuelto de corrupción por Hoover y se le permitió tomar su asiento en el Senado.

Fortas y Johnson ahora se hicieron amigos cercanos. El asesoramiento legal de Fortas se volvió importante durante la investigación de las actividades de Billie Sol Estes y Bobby Baker. El 22 de noviembre de 1963, Don B. Reynolds compareció ante una sesión secreta del Comité de Reglas del Senado. Reynolds le dijo a B. Everett Jordan ya su comité que Johnson había exigido que proporcionara sobornos a cambio de que aceptara una póliza de seguro de vida arreglada por él en 1957. Esto incluía un estéreo Magnavox de $ 585. Reynolds también tuvo que pagar $ 1,200 en publicidad en KTBC, la estación de televisión de Johnson en Austin. Reynolds tenía el papeleo para esta transacción, incluida una nota de entrega que indicaba que el estéreo había sido enviado a la casa de Johnson.

Reynolds también contó que vio una maleta llena de dinero que Bobby Baker describió como una "recompensa de $ 100,000 para Johnson por su papel en la obtención del contrato TFX de Fort Worth". Su testimonio llegó a su fin cuando llegó la noticia de que el presidente John F. Kennedy había sido asesinado.

Tan pronto como Lyndon B. Johnson se convirtió en presidente, se puso en contacto con B. Everett Jordan para ver si había alguna posibilidad de detener la publicación de esta información. Jordan respondió que haría lo que pudiera, pero advirtió a Johnson que algunos miembros del comité querían que el testimonio de Reynold se hiciera público. El 6 de diciembre de 1963, Jordan habló con Johnson por teléfono y le dijo que estaba haciendo todo lo posible para suprimir la historia porque "podría extenderse (a) un lugar donde no queremos que se extienda".

Fortas, quien representó tanto a Lyndon B. Johnson como a Bobby Baker, trabajó entre bastidores en un esfuerzo por mantener esta información fuera del alcance del público. Johnson también organizó una campaña de difamación contra Don B. Reynolds. Para ayudarlo a hacer esto, J. Edgar Hoover le pasó a Johnson el archivo del FBI sobre Reynolds.

El 17 de enero de 1964, el Comité de Reglas del Senado votó a favor de hacer público el testimonio secreto de Reynolds. Johnson respondió filtrando información del archivo del FBI de Reynolds a Drew Pearson y Jack Anderson. El 5 de febrero de 1964, el El Correo de Washington informó que Reynolds había mentido sobre su éxito académico en West Point. El artículo también afirmaba que Reynolds había sido partidario de Joseph McCarthy y había acusado a rivales comerciales de ser miembros secretos del Partido Comunista Estadounidense. También se reveló que Reynolds había hecho comentarios antisemitas mientras estaba en Berlín en 1953.

Unas semanas más tarde, el New York Times informó que Lyndon B. Johnson había utilizado información de documentos secretos del gobierno para difamar a Don B. También informó que los funcionarios de Johnson habían estado presionando a los editores de periódicos para que no imprimieran información que había sido revelada por Reynolds frente al Comité de Reglas del Senado .

En 1965, Johnson nombró a Fortas como miembro de la Corte Suprema. Durante su tiempo en la Corte, Fortas continuó asesorando a LBJ en asuntos políticos y legales. En junio de 1968, Earl Warren se retiró como presidente del Tribunal Supremo. Johnson no dudó en nombrar a Fortas como su reemplazo. Johnson también nombró a otro amigo de Texas, Homer Thornberry, para reemplazar a Fortas. El Senado tenía dudas sobre la conveniencia de que Fortas se convirtiera en presidente del Tribunal Supremo. Más tarde se descubrió que Fortas había mentido cuando compareció ante el Comité Judicial del Senado. En octubre, Fortas pidió que se retirara su nominación.

También se reveló que un financiero convicto llamado Louis Wolfson había acordado pagarle a Fortas $ 20,000 por año por el resto de su vida. Este arreglo fue condenado como éticamente impropio y Fortas se vio obligado a dimitir de la Corte Suprema en mayo de 1969.

Fortas no tuvo éxito en su intento de reunirse con Arnold, Fortas y Porter, el bufete de abogados que había ayudado a crear. En 1970 fundó otro bufete de abogados.

Abe Fortas murió el 5 de abril de 1982.


FORTAS, ABE

Abe Fortas se desempeñó como juez de la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos de 1965 a 1969. Un renombrado y poderoso abogado de Washington, D.C., antes de unirse a la Corte, Fortas renunció al tribunal en desgracia después de que las acusaciones de comportamiento poco ético llevaron a reclamar su juicio político.

Fortas nació el 19 de junio de 1910 en Memphis, hijo de judíos inmigrantes ingleses. Se graduó de Southwestern College, en Memphis, en 1930 y se licenció en derecho en la Facultad de Derecho de Yale en 1933. Un estudiante destacado en Yale, Fortas se convirtió en un protegido de william o. douglas, miembro de la facultad de la escuela y futuro juez de la Corte Suprema. Después de graduarse, Fortas dividió su tiempo entre Yale y Washington, D.C., donde se desempeñó como profesor asistente en la escuela y trabajó en varias agencias del gobierno federal.

La llegada de Fortas a Washington, D.C., coincidió con el presidente franklin d. administración del nuevo acuerdo de Roosevelt. Bajo Roosevelt, el gobierno federal se expandió enormemente a medida que asumió más poder regulador sobre la economía nacional. Fortas cortó sus conexiones con Yale en 1937 y comenzó a trabajar a tiempo completo para la comisión de valores y cambio, que estaba presidida por Douglas.

Fortas demostró ser un administrador eficaz. Ingresó en el departamento del interior en 1939 y pronto se convirtió en confidente del secretario del Interior, Harold L. Ickes. Ickes, un poderoso miembro de la administración de Roosevelt, nombró subsecretario a Fortas en 1942. Fortas ocupó ese cargo hasta 1946, cuando dejó el gobierno para iniciar un bufete de abogados privado.

Fortas y Thurman W. Arnold, ex profesor de derecho y jefe de la División Antimonopolio del Departamento de Justicia, crearon la firma Arnold and Porter para ayudar a las corporaciones y otros grupos de interés poderosos a lidiar con la nueva burocracia federal. Fortas conocía su camino por los pasillos del poder y se convirtió en un influyente

cabildero e intérprete de las regulaciones gubernamentales en Washington, D.C. después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial

Su camino hacia la Corte Suprema comenzó en 1948, cuando lideró el equipo legal que luchó por colocar el nombre de Lyndon B. Johnson en la boleta electoral de Texas para senador de Estados Unidos. Johnson, un congresista de Texas en la década de 1940, conoció a Fortas mientras Fortas estaba en el Departamento del Interior. Las elecciones primarias demócratas de Texas de 1948 le dieron a Johnson un margen de victoria de 87 votos, pero su oponente, Coke R. Stevenson, alegó que los partidarios de Johnson habían llenado las urnas con papeletas falsas. Después de que Stevenson presentó una demanda en un tribunal federal, un juez eliminó el nombre de Johnson de la boleta electoral final, en espera de una investigación sobre las supuestas irregularidades electorales. Fortas convenció al juez hugo l. black de la Corte Suprema para ordenar la restauración del nombre de Johnson, de conformidad con el poder judicial de Black para revisar las acciones de los tribunales federales en Texas. Johnson fue elegido para el Senado y se convirtió en líder de la mayoría en 1955. Fue elegido vicepresidente de los Estados Unidos en 1960 y se convirtió en presidente el 22 de noviembre de 1963, tras el asesinato del presidente john f. Kennedy.

"Para un juez de este último tribunal [la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos], la oportunidad de autodescubrimiento y la ocasión de autorrevelación es grandiosa".
—Abe Fortas

Aunque Fortas sirvió a los poderosos, también brindó servicios legales pro bono (no remunerados) a quienes tenían problemas legales urgentes. Su caso pro bono más famoso fue gideon v.wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, 83 S. Ct. 792, 9 L. Ed. 2d 799 (1963). Un tribunal de Florida había condenado a Clarence Gideon, un vagabundo y jugador de poca monta, por irrumpir en una sala de billar y sacar el cambio de una máquina expendedora. Gideon no podía pagar un abogado y el tribunal no designaría uno. Gideon preparó su propia apelación ante la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos, argumentando que la denegación de asesoría legal porque una persona no podía pagar un abogado era inconstitucional. El Tribunal aceptó su apelación y nombró a Fortas para que actuara como su abogado.

Fortas convenció a la Corte de invalidar su precedente en Betts contra Brady, 316 U.S. 455, 62 S. Ct. 1252, 86 L. Ed. 1595 (1942), en la cual el Tribunal sostuvo que una persona común acusada de un delito grave podía hacer un trabajo adecuado de representarse a sí misma y no tenía derecho a la designación de un abogado. En su opinión mayoritaria para Gedeón, El juez Black dictaminó que un acusado indigente en un juicio penal tiene derecho constitucional a un abogado designado por el tribunal. En este fallo, la Corte incorporó mediante la Decimocuarta Enmienda el derecho a un abogado de la Sexta Enmienda, haciendo que ese derecho sea aplicable tanto a los procesos penales estatales como federales.

Cuando Johnson asumió la presidencia, consideró a Fortas como un asesor confidencial. Johnson deseaba nombrar a Fortas para la Corte Suprema, pero no había vacantes. Convenció al juez Arthur J. Goldberg renunció a la Corte en 1965 para convertirse en embajador de Estados Unidos en las Naciones Unidas. Goldberg abandonó la Corte a regañadientes y Johnson nominó a Fortas para ocupar su supuesto asiento judío. La "sede judía" comenzó con el nombramiento en 1939 de felix frankfurter, que era judío, para suceder al juez benjamin cardozo, también judío. Se asumió que, por razones políticas, los presidentes demócratas nombrarían a una persona judía para esa vacante. Esta tradición terminó con el nombramiento de Fortas.

Fortas encajaba bien con la Corte liberal, entonces encabezada por el presidente del Tribunal Supremo, el conde Warren. Preocupado por la política más que precedente, Fortas fue un firme defensor de los derechos civiles y las libertades civiles. Sus dos opiniones más significativas se referían a los derechos del niño. El caso histórico de 1967 en re gault, 387 U.S. 1, 87 S. Ct. 1428, 18 L. Ed. 2d 527, cambió la naturaleza del sistema de derecho de menores. Fortas y la Corte esencialmente hicieron que los tribunales de menores se adhirieran a los estándares del debido proceso, aplicando la mayoría de las garantías procesales de las que gozan los adultos acusados ​​de delitos. Debajo Gault Los tribunales de menores debían respetar el derecho a un abogado, el derecho a no ser autoinculpable y el derecho a enfrentarse a testigos hostiles.

tinker v. distrito escolar independiente de la comunidad des moines, 393 U.S. 503, 89 S. Ct. 733, 21 L. Ed. 2d 731 (1969), otorgó a los menores los derechos de la primera enmienda. Los funcionarios de la escuela secundaria de Des Moines habían suspendido a los estudiantes por usar brazaletes negros en la escuela para protestar por la participación de Estados Unidos en la guerra de Vietnam. En la apelación, Fortas rechazó la idea de que la respuesta de la escuela fuera razonable porque se basaba en el temor de que se produjeran disturbios por el uso de brazaletes. Fortas dictaminó que el uso de brazaletes era "muy parecido al 'discurso puro' que ... tiene derecho a una protección integral bajo la Primera Enmienda". Agregó que los funcionarios de las escuelas públicas no podían prohibir la expresión por "el mero deseo de evitar las molestias y los disgustos que siempre acompañan a un punto de vista impopular".

En junio de 1968, el presidente del Tribunal Supremo Warren anunció que se retiraría. El presidente Johnson nominó a Fortas para suceder a Warren, pero el estado de ánimo político del Senado fue hostil a la nominación. Había sido un secreto a voces en Washington, D.C., que Fortas continuó asesorando al presidente después de unirse a la Corte. Fortas fue un participante clave en la formulación de políticas de la guerra de Vietnam. Algunos senadores estaban preocupados por su violación de la separación de poderes, otros, especialmente los conservadores, atacaron su historial de votantes liberales en la Corte. Los republicanos esperaban descarrilar la nominación para darle a Richard. nixon, que entonces se postulaba para la presidencia, la oportunidad de nombrar a un presidente del Tribunal Supremo más conservador. Johnson, que ya había anunciado que no se postularía para la reelección, era un pato cojo y no podía hacer nada para ayudar a Fortas. Los opositores llevaron a cabo un obstruccionismo cuando se llevó el nombramiento al Senado. En octubre, Fortas, sintiendo la derrota, pidió que se retirara su nombre de la consideración. Warren permaneció en la Corte hasta 1969, cuando el presidente Nixon nombró a warren e. hamburguesa como presidente del Tribunal Supremo.

Las cosas empeoraron para Fortas, en 1969, cuando Vida La revista informó que había aceptado una tarifa de $ 20,000 de una fundación establecida por la familia de Louis Wolfson, un financiero bajo investigación federal por violaciones de valores. La tarifa era la primera de una serie de pagos anuales que debían hacerse a Fortas durante su vida, y luego a su viuda hasta su muerte, a cambio de la orientación de Fortas sobre los programas de la fundación. El acuerdo terminó en 1966 cuando Fortas devolvió el dinero tras la acusación de Wolfson.

A pesar de la devolución final del dinero por parte de Fortas, su aceptación inicial preocupó a muchos senadores. Se alegó que Fortas había hecho más que un trabajo de fundación, brindando asesoramiento legal a Wolfson. los Vida El artículo señaló que Wolfson había usado el nombre de Fortas con la esperanza de ayudarse a sí mismo. Fortas emitió un comunicado ambiguo que no resolvió la situación. La administración de Nixon y los senadores republicanos insinuaron que Fortas debería ser acusado por sus acciones, que eran contrarias a la disposición ética de que los jueces deben estar libres de la apariencia de incorrección. Fortas puso fin a la controversia al dimitir de la Corte el 14 de mayo de 1969, aunque sostuvo que no había hecho nada malo. Esta fue la primera vez en la historia de Estados Unidos que un juez renunció bajo la amenaza de un juicio político.

Después de su renuncia, Fortas intentó regresar a su antiguo bufete de abogados. Cuando la firma se negó a aceptarlo, estableció su propio bufete de abogados, Fortas and Koven. Volvió a asesorar a clientes corporativos sobre cómo hacer negocios en Washington, D.C., y continuó con su trabajo pro bono.

Fortas continuó ejerciendo la abogacía hasta que murió de una rotura de la aorta el 5 de abril de 1982 en Washington, D.C.


Lo más destacado de la historia legal: La fallida nominación de Abe Fortas en el año electoral

Por Andrew Hamm
el 10 de marzo de 2016 a las 4:03 pm

La vacante actual en la Corte Suprema ha generado un debate considerable sobre la historia de las nominaciones a la Corte Suprema, incluso de Michael Gerhardt para este blog. Uno de los capítulos más citados en esta historia es la nominación fallida del juez Abe Fortas por el presidente Lyndon Johnson en 1968 para reemplazar a Earl Warren, quien había anunciado su intención de retirarse de su puesto como presidente del Tribunal Supremo. La situación política y judicial actual hace que sea el momento perfecto para un artículo reciente de Robert David Johnson en el Revista de historia de la Corte Suprema: "Lyndon B. Johnson y la nominación de Fortas". El artículo de Johnson es uno de los primeros en utilizar las cintas de las conversaciones y llamadas telefónicas de Lyndon Johnson en 1968. Johnson también es el primer académico que estudia la confirmación de Fortas en utilizar los documentos de algunos de los senadores que desempeñaron papeles clave en la batalla, incluidos los "oponentes más destacados" de Fortas, el senador Robert Griffin (republicano por Michigan) y el senador Strom Thurmond (republicano por Michigan). Carolina del Sur).

El 13 de junio de 1968, Warren presentó una renuncia condicional que entraría en vigencia tras la confirmación de su sucesor. Para Lyndon Johnson, la “selección obvia” como reemplazo fue el ex juez Arthur Goldberg, quien dejó la Corte en 1965 para servir como embajador de Estados Unidos ante las Naciones Unidas. Sin embargo, Lyndon Johnson objetó sobre la base de que, en sus palabras, uno "no debería dejar la Corte y volver a la Corte". Más sin rodeos, dijo: "No debería tener dos judíos" como jueces. El secretario de Defensa Clark Clifford era "demasiado mayor", el secretario del Ejército Cyrus Vance "demasiado propenso a la mala salud" y el secretario del Tesoro Henry Fowler "demasiado vital en su puesto actual".

Lyndon Johnson finalmente seleccionó a Fortas, "el mejor abogado de la Corte", pero inmediatamente olió a amiguismo, sólo el primero de los problemas por venir. Fortas había sido un aliado de Johnson desde hace mucho tiempo, e incluso como juez asociado continuó asesorando al presidente en asuntos que iban desde Vietnam hasta la relación entre la hija de Johnson y el actor George Hamilton.

Elevar a Fortas también significó que Johnson necesitaba nominar un nuevo Juez Asociado. Quería a alguien cuyo voto pudiera "siempre estar orgulloso de." Eligió a Homer Thornberry, un compañero texano que lo había sucedido en la Cámara de Representantes, y a quien ya había elevado de un tribunal de distrito federal al Quinto Circuito en 1965. Aunque el presidente Johnson admitió con franqueza que Thornberry no sería tan elocuente como El juez Hugo Black, para los oponentes Thornberry, parecía el mismo amiguismo una vez más que la elección de Fortas.

El Senado nunca había intentado obstruir a un candidato a la Corte Suprema desde el establecimiento de la regla de cierre en 1917, y después de la “lucha de empaquetamiento de la Corte” de 1937, el Senado había confirmado veintidós candidatos consecutivos, quince por voto de voz. Como señala Robert David Johnson en el artículo, el obstruccionismo también trajo consigo una asociación política y pública significativa con los esfuerzos de los legisladores del sur para bloquear la legislación de derechos civiles. (Ese verano, los republicanos evitaron el término "obstruccionismo", en lugar de etiquetar sus esfuerzos como un "debate completo" o una "campaña educativa"). Dada esta situación, Johnson sostiene en el artículo, "por lo tanto, no era irrazonable, como la mayoría de los observadores de Washington". pensó, esperar poca resistencia para el reemplazo de Warren ".

Sin embargo, la investigación de Johnson revela indicios de que, incluso en ese momento, esa expectativa puede haber estado equivocada. El Senado había agregado varios miembros nuevos de elecciones recientes "que, por razones de ideología, partidismo o ambos, desafiaron las costumbres tradicionales del Senado". De hecho, la confirmación del juez Thurgood Marshall el año anterior, por un voto de sesenta y nueve contra once (con veinte senadores sin votar) "reveló signos de un enfoque diferente por parte de algunos senadores a las elecciones de la Corte Suprema". Este nuevo enfoque se debió en parte a una importante reacción pública contra la Corte Warren por sus “decisiones altamente impopulares relacionadas con el crimen, en particular Miranda contra Arizona. " En parte como resultado de la percepción negativa de estos casos, los senadores estaban considerando proyectos de ley de control del crimen, y Richard Nixon, el principal candidato presidencial republicano, se postulaba principalmente en una plataforma de ley y orden.

Lyndon Johnson, exlíder de la mayoría en el Senado, era un experto en tácticas procesales, pero los republicanos de la oposición en el Comité Judicial del Senado lo superarían a él y a sus aliados: un `` grupo de incautos '' fue la frase autocrítica del presidente en retrospectiva. Thurmond se negó a renunciar, como se hacía típicamente, a una regla que prohíbe las reuniones de los comités mientras el Senado está en sesión en el piso. Una regla olvidada que los republicanos resucitaron permitió un retraso de una semana. Otras ausencias estratégicas negaron al comité los quórumes necesarios para reunirse.

Otra táctica dilatoria involucró la supuesta complicidad de Fortas en la difusión de la pornografía debido a su participación en la decisión no firmada de la Corte en Schackman contra California Treinta senadores encontraron el asunto lo suficientemente urgente como para justificar ver las películas cuestionables para hacer sus propios juicios. El senador Philip Hart (D-Michigan) comentó que la gente podría tener la "impresión precisa de que los senadores de los Estados Unidos, por más que lo desaprueben justamente, se han deslizado hacia innumerables proyecciones privadas de películas 'sucias'".

Por muy divertido que pueda parecer hoy ese elemento del episodio, apunta a un aspecto crucial de la batalla por la nominación: la reacción violenta contra la Corte Warren. Los "puntos de conversación" de Lyndon Johnson para Fortas y Thornberry - "que dado que la única" pregunta es si Warren va y Thornberry entra, ... no puedes decirme que Thornberry no es mucho mejor para [algunos senadores del sur ] de lo que es Warren '' - se perdió el punto crucial. No se trataba de Thornberry, sino de Fortas, y elevarlo llevaba la óptica de consagrar la Corte de Warren.

La comparecencia de Fortas para declarar ante el Comité Judicial del Senado representó la primera vez, a excepción de una persona designada en el receso, que un juez en ejercicio había testificado sobre sus puntos de vista. Esto puso efectivamente a juicio al Tribunal de Warren. Rápidamente se hizo evidente que la nominación de Fortas constituía un “caso de negligencia política grave”, en palabras del politólogo Kevin McMahon. Los demócratas no se sintieron conmovidos por las elecciones, pero alienaron significativamente a los republicanos moderados y liberales, algunos de los cuales el presidente necesitaría inclinarse a su lado.

Johnson informa que el 19 de julio, una "llamada anónima" informó a un asistente del Senado que Fortas había recibido $ 15,000 de donantes privados para un seminario en la American University. También fue preocupante la estrecha relación continua de Fortas con Lyndon Johnson. (Fortas se defendió en el comité de este cargo con la afirmación algo poco convincente de que el presidente solo lo consultaba sobre asuntos en los que Fortas carecía de "experiencia"). Estas cuestiones éticas se sumaron a los problemas de Fortas, pero de una manera que, sugiere Johnson en su artículo, solo aumentó la oposición ya presente que surge principalmente de la asociación de Fortas con la Corte Warren.

En la campaña electoral, Nixon prometió nombrar a "constitucionalistas estrictos" para la Corte, y enfatizó en una carta de campaña la "necesidad de que los futuros presidentes incluyan en sus nombramientos a la Corte Suprema a hombres que tengan una amplia experiencia y estén versados ​​en las leyes penales". de la tierra." En el verano y principios del otoño de ese año, el Senado recibió 50.000 cartas o telegramas sobre la nominación de Fortas y “se inclinaron abrumadoramente en contra”. La situación de un senador es indicativa. El senador Wallace Bennett (R-Utah) había dicho originalmente que "definitivamente no se uniría a un obstruccionismo" contra Fortas. Eso fue antes de que apenas sobreviviera al desafío de las primarias de septiembre de Mark Anderson, un miembro de la Sociedad John Birch que había apoyado fuertemente a la extrema derecha. Al regresar a Washington, D.C., Bennett cambió de opinión sobre Fortas. Su colega demócrata, el senador Frank Moss, enfrentó una lucha similar en la que respaldó a Fortas, pero no abiertamente.

Cuando la nominación salió del comité, los editores de los New York Times comentó, "la única forma en que el Senado puede ir es arriba". No fue así. Fortas recibió, como dice Johnson, “una última indignidad” al no llegar ni a los cincuenta votos. Cuarenta y cinco senadores votaron a favor y cuarenta y tres "querían que continuara el debate", pero Lyndon Johnson retiró la nominación, la primera vez desde 1930 que la elección del presidente no prevalecía.

El propio Fortas no permanecería mucho más en la Corte. Al año siguiente surgió otra violación ética: un anticipo anual de $ 20,000 que Fortas aceptó del financiero de Wall Street Louis Wolfson, quien estaba siendo investigado por fraude y esperando el perdón de Lyndon Johnson. Fortas renunció en medio de los llamados a su juicio político, pero Johnson postula que es "al menos plausible que un Fortas menos expuesto políticamente podría haber rechazado los pedidos de su renuncia".

Con esta afirmación de que "en ausencia de la contundente pelea de confirmación", Fortas no habría tenido que renunciar de otra manera, Johnson argumenta que los errores de cálculo políticos de Lyndon Johnson "permitieron a Nixon hacer dos nominaciones que de otro modo habrían ido a las personas designadas por un presidente demócrata". Esto, a su vez, "puso en marcha el patrón" de una Corte Suprema cuya mayoría fue nombrada por presidentes republicanos, un patrón que continuó hasta la muerte de Antonin Scalia a principios de este año.


Gideon contra Wainwright

Nuestros editores revisarán lo que ha enviado y determinarán si deben revisar el artículo.

Gideon contra Wainwright, caso en el que la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos el 18 de marzo de 1963 dictaminó (9-0) que los estados deben brindar asesoría legal a los acusados ​​indigentes acusados ​​de un delito grave.

El caso se centró en Clarence Earl Gideon, quien había sido acusado de un delito grave por presuntamente robar un salón de billar en la ciudad de Panamá, Florida, en junio de 1961. En su primer juicio, solicitó un abogado designado por el tribunal, pero se le negó. Los fiscales presentaron testigos que vieron a Gideon fuera de la sala de billar cerca del momento del robo, pero ninguno que lo vio cometer el crimen. Gideon interrogó a los testigos, pero no pudo impugnar su credibilidad ni señalar las contradicciones en su testimonio. El jurado lo declaró culpable y fue condenado a cinco años de prisión.

Posteriormente, Gideon solicitó un recurso de hábeas corpus de la Corte Suprema de Florida, argumentando que, debido a que no había tenido un abogado, se le había negado un juicio justo. El traje fue originalmente Gedeón v. Cochran el último nombre se refería a H.G. Cochran, Jr., director de la División Correccional de Florida. Para cuando el caso se presentó ante la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos, Louie L. Wainwright había sucedido a Cochran. Después de que la Corte Suprema de Florida confirmó el fallo de la corte inferior, Gideon presentó una petición ante la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos, que accedió a escuchar el caso.

En ese momento, el Tribunal Supremo ya se había ocupado de varios casos relacionados con el derecho a un abogado. En Powell v. Alabama (1932) —que involucraba a los “Scottsboro Boys”, nueve jóvenes negros que habían sido declarados culpables de violar a dos mujeres blancas — la Corte había dictaminado que las cortes estatales deben brindar asesoría legal a los acusados ​​indigentes acusados ​​de delitos capitales. En Betts v. BradySin embargo, (1942), el Tribunal decidió que no se requería un abogado asignado para los acusados ​​indigentes en casos de delitos graves estatales, excepto cuando existían circunstancias especiales, sobre todo si el acusado era analfabeto o tenía problemas mentales.


Abe Fortas

Abe Fortas se desempeñó como juez de la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos de 1965 a 1969. Un renombrado y poderoso abogado de Washington, D.C., antes de unirse a la Corte, Fortas renunció al tribunal en desgracia después de que las acusaciones de comportamiento poco ético llevaron a reclamar su juicio político.

Fortas nació el 19 de junio de 1910 en Memphis, hijo de judíos inmigrantes ingleses. Se graduó de Southwestern College, en Memphis, en 1930 y se licenció en derecho en la Facultad de Derecho de Yale en 1933. Un estudiante destacado en Yale, Fortas se convirtió en protegido de William O. Douglas, miembro de la facultad de la escuela y futuro Tribunal Supremo. justicia. Después de graduarse, Fortas dividió su tiempo entre Yale y Washington, D.C., donde se desempeñó como profesor asistente en la escuela y trabajó en varias agencias del gobierno federal.

La llegada de Fortas a Washington, DC coincidió con la administración del New Deal del presidente Franklin D. Roosevelt. Bajo Roosevelt, el gobierno federal se expandió enormemente a medida que asumió más poder regulador sobre la economía nacional. Fortas cortó sus conexiones con Yale en 1937 y comenzó a trabajar a tiempo completo para la comisión de valores y cambio, que estaba presidida por Douglas.

Fortas demostró ser un administrador eficaz. Ingresó en el departamento del interior en 1939 y pronto se convirtió en confidente del secretario del Interior, Harold L. Ickes. Ickes, un poderoso miembro de la administración de Roosevelt, nombró subsecretario a Fortas en 1942. Fortas ocupó ese cargo hasta 1946, cuando dejó el gobierno para iniciar un bufete de abogados privado.

Fortas y Thurman W. Arnold, ex profesor de derecho y jefe de la División Antimonopolio del Departamento de Justicia, crearon la firma Arnold and Porter para ayudar a las corporaciones y otros grupos de interés poderosos a lidiar con la nueva burocracia federal. Fortas conocía su camino por los pasillos del poder y se convirtió en un influyente

cabildero e intérprete de las regulaciones gubernamentales en Washington, D.C. después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial

Su camino hacia la Corte Suprema comenzó en 1948, cuando lideró el equipo legal que luchó por colocar el nombre de Lyndon B. Johnson en la boleta electoral de Texas para senador de Estados Unidos. Johnson, un congresista de Texas en la década de 1940, conoció a Fortas mientras Fortas estaba en el Departamento del Interior. Las elecciones primarias demócratas de Texas de 1948 le dieron a Johnson un margen de victoria de 87 votos, pero su oponente, Coke R. Stevenson, alegó que los partidarios de Johnson habían llenado las urnas con papeletas falsas. Después de que Stevenson presentó una demanda en un tribunal federal, un juez eliminó el nombre de Johnson de la boleta electoral final, en espera de una investigación sobre las presuntas irregularidades electorales. Fortas convenció al juez Hugo L. Black de la Corte Suprema de que ordenara la restauración del nombre de Johnson, de conformidad con el poder judicial de Black para revisar las acciones de los tribunales federales en Texas. Johnson fue elegido para el Senado y se convirtió en líder de la mayoría en 1955. Fue elegido vicepresidente de los Estados Unidos en 1960 y se convirtió en presidente el 22 de noviembre de 1963, tras el asesinato del presidente John F. Kennedy.

Aunque Fortas sirvió a los poderosos, también brindó servicios legales pro bono (no remunerados) a quienes tenían problemas legales urgentes. Su caso pro bono más famoso fue gideon v.wainwright 372 U.S. 335, 83 S. Ct. 792, 9 L. Ed. 2d 799 (1963). Un tribunal de Florida había condenado a Clarence Gideon, un vagabundo y jugador de poca monta, por irrumpir en una sala de billar y sacar el cambio de una máquina expendedora. Gideon no podía pagar un abogado y el tribunal no lo nombraría. Gideon preparó su propia apelación ante la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos, argumentando que la denegación de asesoría legal porque una persona no podía pagar un abogado era inconstitucional. El Tribunal aceptó su apelación y nombró a Fortas para que actuara como su abogado.

Fortas convenció a la Corte de invalidar su precedente en Betts contra Brady, 316 U.S. 455, 62 S. Ct. 1252, 86 L. Ed. 1595 (1942), en el cual el Tribunal sostuvo que una persona común acusada de un delito grave podía hacer un trabajo adecuado de representarse a sí misma y no tenía derecho a la designación de un abogado. En su opinión mayoritaria para Gedeón, El juez Black dictaminó que un acusado indigente en un juicio penal tiene el derecho constitucional a un abogado designado por el tribunal. En este fallo, la Corte incorporó mediante la Decimocuarta Enmienda el derecho a un abogado de la Sexta Enmienda, haciendo así ese derecho aplicable tanto a los procesos penales estatales como federales.

Cuando Johnson asumió la presidencia, consideró a Fortas como un asesor confidencial. Johnson deseaba nombrar a Fortas para la Corte Suprema, pero no había vacantes. Convenció al juez Arthur J. Goldberg renunció a la Corte en 1965 para convertirse en embajador de Estados Unidos ante las Naciones Unidas. Goldberg abandonó la Corte a regañadientes, y Johnson nominó a Fortas para ocupar su supuesto asiento judío. The "Jewish seat" began with the 1939 appointment of Felix Frankfurter , who was Jewish, to succeed Justice benjamin cardozo , also Jewish. It was assumed that for political reasons, Democratic presidents would appoint a Jewish person to that vacancy. This tradition ended with the appointment of Fortas.

Fortas fit in well with the liberal Court, then headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren . Concerned with policy more than precedent, Fortas was a strong defender of civil rights and civil liberties. His two most significant opinions dealt with the rights of children. The 1967 landmark case in re gault 387 U.S. 1, 87 S. Ct. 1428, 18 L. Ed. 2d 527, changed the nature of the juvenile law system. Fortas and the Court essentially made the juvenile courts adhere to standards of due process , applying most of the procedural safeguards enjoyed by adults accused of crimes. Debajo Gault juvenile courts were to respect the right to counsel, the right to freedom from compulsory self-incrimination , and the right to confront hostile witnesses.

Tinker v. des moines independent community school district 393 U.S. 503, 89 S. Ct. 733, 21 L. Ed. 2d 731 (1969), accorded juveniles First Amendment rights. Des Moines high school officials had suspended students for wearing black armbands to school to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War . On appeal Fortas rejected the idea that the school's response was reasonable because it was based on the fear that a disturbance would result from the wearing of armbands. Fortas ruled that the wearing of armbands was "closely akin to 'pure speech' which … is entitled to comprehensive protection under the First Amendment." He added that public school officials could not ban expression out of the "mere desire to avoid discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint."

In June 1968, Chief Justice Warren announced that he would retire. President Johnson nominated Fortas to succeed Warren, but the political mood of the Senate was hostile to the nomination. It had been an open secret in Washington, D.C., that Fortas continued to advise the president after joining the Court. Fortas was a key participant in Vietnam War policymaking. Some senators were troubled by his breach of the separation of powers others, especially conservatives, attacked his liberal voting record on the Court. Republicans hoped to derail the nomination so as to give richardm. nixon , then running for the presidency, the opportunity to appoint a more conservative chief justice. Johnson, who had already announced he would not run for reelection, was a lame duck and could do nothing to help Fortas. Opponents conducted a filibuster when the appointment was brought to the Senate floor. In October, Fortas, sensing defeat, asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration. Warren remained on the Court until 1969, when President Nixon appointed Warren E. Burger as chief justice.

Matters worsened for Fortas, in 1969, when Vida magazine reported that he had accepted a $20,000 fee from a foundation established by the family of Louis Wolfson, a financier under federal investigation for securities violations. The fee was the first of a series of annual payments that were to be made to Fortas for the duration of his life, and thereafter to his widow until her death, in exchange for Fortas's guidance of the foundation's programs. The arrangement was terminated in 1966 when Fortas returned the money upon Wolfson's indictment.

Despite Fortas's ultimate return of the money, his initial acceptance of it troubled many senators. It was alleged that Fortas had done more than foundation work, giving Wolfson legal advice. los Vida article noted that Wolfson had used Fortas's name in the hope of helping himself. Fortas issued an ambiguous statement that did not resolve the situation. The Nixon administration and Republican senators hinted that Fortas should be impeached for his actions, which were contrary to the ethical provision that judges must be free of the appearance of impropriety. Fortas ended the controversy by resigning from the Court May 14, 1969, though he contended he had done nothing wrong. This was the first time in U.S. history that a justice resigned under the threat of impeachment.

Following his resignation Fortas sought to return to his old law firm. When the firm refused to take him back, he set up his own law practice, Fortas and Koven. He resumed advising corporate clients on how to do business in Washington, D.C., and he continued his pro bono work.

Fortas continued to practice law until he died from a ruptured aorta on April 5, 1982, in Washington, D.C.


The Cautionary Tale of Abe Fortas

Neil Gorsuch has a lot of friends in Washington. He should manage these relationships carefully.

In Washington, politics, as they say, can lead to strange bedfellows. And political friendships can span the branches of government. For instance, Justice Scalia and Vice President Cheney were hunting buddies. But this friendship later raised eyebrows and requests for recusal when a case involving Cheney came before the Supreme Court. Friendships can come back to haunt justices.

I started my career as an attorney at Arnold & Porter. I knew that the firm started as Arnold, Fortas & Porter. The “Fortas” was Abe Fortas, the one-time Supreme Court Justice who left the high court after just 4 years in ignominy. No one would really talk about Fortas at the firm.

And now I wonder if his cautionary tale might resonate for the Court’s newest member, Justice Neil Gorsuch, who has come under criticism for his relationships with sitting Senators. As Charles P. Pierce wrote in don of a trip Justice Gorsuch took with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, “don’t even consider the propriety of a Supreme Court Justice being paraded around a state like a prize trout.”

What can we learn today from Justice Fortas’s fate? Mucho. Abe Fortas’s career as a lawyer could not have had a more promising start as he graduated second in his class from Yale Law School and was promptly hired by Yale to teach. He worked as a lawyer throughout the expanding administrative state. And he was appointed by the Supreme Court to represent Clarence Gideon in the historic case of Gideon v. Wainwright in 1962. Mr. Fortas won the case for his indigent client 9-0, and in so doing, he helped establish that the Sixth Amendment's right to counsel in criminal cases extends to felony defendants in state courts. This allows for court appointed lawyers to criminal defendants throughout the land.

Then Abe Fortas’s political star was really on the rise. He was appointed to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. And then luck seemed to shine on him again when Chief Justice Warren decided to retire in 1968. President Johnson then nominated Associate Justice Fortas to become Chief Justice Fortas which required Senate approval. And that’s when everything went pear shaped.

Justice Fortas was known for his close relationship with LBJ, but it wasn’t until his confirmation hearings to be elevated to Chief Justice did the closeness of the relationship become fully examined in a public forum. As the U.S. Senate still notes the second Fortas nomination hearing revealed “[a]s a sitting justice, he regularly attended White House staff meetings he briefed the president on secret Court deliberations and, on behalf of the president, he pressured senators who opposed the war in Vietnam.”

And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, the hearings also revealed that his former law partner Paul Porter (the Porter of Arnold & Porter) set up a gig for Fortas to teach summer school at American University. That probably wouldn’t have been all that controversial, except Fortas’s salary wasn’t paid by American University. Rather former Arnold & Porter clients, many of whom had cases potentially heading to the Supreme Court paid the summer school salary to Fortas. The payment was $15,000 which doesn’t sound like much today, but was 40% of the salary he earned as a Supreme Court Justice. Conservative Senators with Strom Thurmond leading the charge, filibustered Fortas’s elevation until he was forced to withdraw his name.

Fortas remained on the Supreme Court for another year when another financial scandal sunk his career. He took $20,000 from the Wolfson Foundation, which was a family foundation of Louis Wolfson, who was indicted for securities fraud. Justice Fortas returned the money but his reputation was ruined and he stepped down from the Court in shame. His cautionary tale should teach all Justices that the appearance of impropriety can crush an otherwise stellar career.

The Abe Fortas problem isn’t new. Justice Clarence Thomas has repeatedly been chastised over the years for his taking money from conservative groups for various speaking engagements.

The newest addition to the Supreme Court, Justice Gorsuch has already kicked up controversy for his choices of speaking engagements. In September 2017, he gave a speech at the Trump International Hotel in DC. This hotel is the subject of multiple lawsuits alleging that the President’s continued indirect ownership of the hotel violates the Constitution. These lawsuits are likely headed straight to the Supreme Court.

Justice Gorsuch also spoke with Senate Majority Mitch McConnell at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center (named after you guessed it Mitch McConnell) in September 2017 after McConnell held the late Justice Scalia’s seat open for a year for him. And then in January 2018, Justice Gorsuch apparently dined with Senators Cornyn and Alexander “to talk about important issues facing our country…” Senator Cornyn is presently number two in Senate Republican leadership.

Justice Gorsuch is allowed to have friends in DC — even friends is very high places like the Oval Office and the number one and two seats in the Senate. But Justice Fortas thought his powerful friendships were allowed too — until he crossed an invisible line where his friendships –and of course the money — made him look like he had lost his impartiality as a jurist.

(Editor’s note: This post was updated on Thursday, February 8.)

The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily those of the Brennan Center for Justice.


Hoy en la historia

Today is Saturday, June 26, the 177th day of 2021. There are 188 days left in the year.

Lo más destacado de hoy en la historia:

On June 26, 2013, in deciding its first cases on the issue, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the nation’s legally married gay couples equal federal footing with all other married Americans and also cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

In 1483, Richard III began his reign as King of England (he was crowned the following month at Westminster Abbey).

In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force deployed to France during World War I landed in St. Nazaire.

In 1919, the New York Daily News was first published.

In 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco.

In 1948, the Berlin Airlift began in earnest after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he delivered his famous speech expressing solidarity with the city’s residents, declaring: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner).

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced his choice of Abe Fortas to succeed the retiring Earl Warren as chief justice of the United States (however, Fortas later withdrew in the face of stiff Senate opposition).

In 1977, 42 people were killed when a fire sent toxic smoke pouring through the Maury County Jail in Columbia, Tennessee. Elvis Presley performed his last concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton announced the U.S. had launched missiles against Iraqi targets because of “compelling evidence” Iraq had plotted to assassinate former President George H.W. Arbusto.

In 1996, the Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or forgo state support.

In 1997, the first Harry Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling (ROHL’-ing), was published in the United Kingdom (it was later released in the United States under the title “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”).

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia as it affirmed, 5-4, that an individual right to gun ownership existed.

Ten years ago: New York City’s gay pride parade turned into a carnival-like celebration of same-sex marriage as hundreds of thousands of revelers rejoiced at the state’s new law giving gay couples the same marital rights as everyone else.

Five years ago: Fourteen people suffered stab wounds, cuts and bruises when fighting erupted outside the California state Capitol in Sacramento between more than 300 counter-protesters and about 30 members of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a white nationalist group. Fireworks exploded as a huge Chinese-owned container ship made the inaugural passage through the newly expanded Panama Canal.


Talk:Abe Fortas

I added a link to the finding aid in the external links section.

Should a mention be added in the section about the papers request from the LBJ Library?

The stub of a section on Fortas views of Executive power seems pointless to me. In the first place, the flat statement in the first sentence is NOT supported by the quote that follows. The view that historically the growth of executive power in the mid-20th century was necessary, does not necessarily translate into the belief that the legislature should be "less powerful." In the second place, the statement seems a throw away. It is not grounded in any discussion of jurisprudential debate at the time over the expansion of the executive (in part, I would submit, because it was not very controversial at the time) nor in any wider discussion of his ideological or philosophic views. It seems like just another excuse to quote from Kalman's bitter and critical biography. TheCormac (talk) 16:42, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


I'm not sure how the Republicans could have filibustered Fortas, as they had 24 votes against cloture and 10 votes for cloture. I'm changing the article to reflect that. _________________________________________________________________________________________ Should we perhaps include why Mr. Fotas has been in the news so much lately, and why we have so much information about his filibuster? -DG

That sounds good. Maybe we can try and get the exact names of the senators who voted for and against Fortas. I doubt southern democrats voted against him in large numbers.

Here's the senators who voted against cloture (19 Democrats, 24 Republicans): Democrats: Byrd (Va), Byrd (WVa), Cannon, Dodd, Eastland, Ervin, Fulbright, Hill, Holland, Hollings, Jordan, Lausche, Long, McClellan, Russell, Sparkman, Spong, Stennis, Talmadge. Republicans: Allott, Baker, Bennett, Boggs, Carlson, Cotton, Curtis, Dirksen, Fannin, Fong, Griffin, Hansen, Hickenlooper, Hruska, Jordan, Miller, Mundt, Murphy, Pearson, Prouty, Thurmond, Tower, Williams, Young. Virtually all the Southern Democrats voted against cloture. The only exceptions were Gore (Tenn) and Randolph (WVa). (The two Maryland senators voted for cloture, not sure if Maryland is considered Southern. A Democratic senator from Louisiana, Ellender(?), did not vote either way) This is as reported in the NY Times. I have access to the archive. Ydorb 15:40, May 9, 2005 (UTC)

Was the Byrd from WVa listed above is the current senator yes? That's very interesting. Great work on getting those names. I wish I knew how many of those southern dems ultimately left the party for the GOP.

Err. none of them. Byrd of Virginia stopped being able to win Democratic primaries and ran as an independent, but always caucused as a Democrat. The rest all stayed Democrats. Of the Democrats voting against cloture, I believe Cannon was from Nevada, Dodd from Connecticut, and I'm not sure where Lausche was from. The rest are all southerners. john k 21:41, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm, that last sentence sounds a little biased -- "some GOP even deny the filibuster happened" -- if true, please state who exactly that was -- and meanwhile, flesh out a little bit what the "differences" are, which are mentioned immediately above -- i.e. that the filibuster against Fortas was based on allegations of misconduct rather than on judicial philosophy.

Per the Findlaw article referenced: 'On April 27, speaking on the Senate floor, Senator Hatch repeated his error. He said, "Some have said that the Abe Fortas nomination for Chief Justice was filibustered. Hardly. I thought it was, too, until I was corrected by the man who led the fight against Abe Fortas, Senator Robert Griffin of Michigan." Hatch then asserted that the former Senator told him, and the Senate Republican caucus, "that there never was a real filibuster because a majority would have beaten Justice Fortas outright." ' In fact Fortas never had an "up or down vote." As for the Republicans claim that the Fortas filibuster was undertaken for ethical rather than political concerns, people around at the time know better. Johnson was a lame duck and the Republicans expected to win the next election and appoint the next Chief Justice (which is what happened). After Fortas withdrew, the Republicans made it clear that they would not allow anyone Johnson nominated to receive a vote. Also there were very similar ethical objections raised against Judge Owen, that she accepted gifts. Much of this is covered in the FindLaw link and the nuclear option (filibuster) article. --agr 20:13, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

I would appreciate an explationation as to why the statement "filibusters are typically mounted by senators who doubt their ability to prevail on an up or down vote" is inaccurate, as claimed in a recent edit. Also it is indisputed that the Republicans came up with the name "nuclear option" to describe their proposal to effectively change Senate rules. --agr 13:56, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

My goodness, changing Senate rules? What a radical thing! 69.253.222.184 (talk) 23:22, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Is there any evidence that Abe Fortas's first name was actually Abraham? All sources I've seen call him merely Abe. User:Kalimac, 3 Oct 2005

I have been researching Fortas for over a year now. He is Abraham in many official documents from school records to court records.

You are wrong. He was my great uncle. His name was Abe. If you have any other questions about him, I would be glad to answer.

What was the name of Fortas' second firm (i.e., the firm he founded after resigning from SCOTUS)?

Fortas and Koven, which was located in Georgetown on 31st Street in the Canal Square building. Fortas practiced there until he died. Wikikd (talk) 17:33, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

What is meant by "including 200 Johnson votes that had been cast in alphabetical order"? Perhaps this could be clarified. blahpers 21:57, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I removed this section and was soon after reverted. I have once again removed the information. The article here is about the life and times of Abe Fortas, Supreme Court justice. As such, the article should be about him and only him plus his legacy. The 2005 information is about filibusters. Now granted, the Fortas filibuster was discussed during the debate over whether or not to change the rules, but Fortas himself had no role in that debate. It was not his actions that were under review, merely an action taken in response to his nomination. Therefore, the fact that this filibuster would be discussed at a later date is not apart of Fortas's legacy. The wikipedia page on the senate filibuster needs to cover the 2005 developments, Fortas's page does not. There is quite simply no relation to Fortas's life and legacy and the fact that people wanted to change the filibuster rules at a later date. Indrian 15:07, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

The precedent set by the filibuster of the Fortas Chief Justice nomination is part of his legacy and arguably his most lasting place in American history. The fact that this event became part of a major news story in 2005, 23 years after his death is notable and worthy of inclusion in his bio. To exclude all reference to its current significance would be a disservice to our readers. I would agree that the section you deleted is too long and only a summary of the arguments is needed here.--agr 17:43, 31 August 2006 (UTC) I am still not convinced that this is the proper place for this analysis, but the compromise you have set worth is satisfactory to me for the moment. I have slightly tweaked the section to tie it into his life a little more in the introductory sentence and to remove the heading, which seems to give unecessary focus to this issue since no other headings are found in the article. Indrian 19:14, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

I have taken out the following text: ". for the acceptance of an allegedly illegal payment from a former business associate" from the summary paragraph for two reasons:

1. It is misleadingly broad brush. The kind of payment Fortas received was legal and not uncommon at the time. The problem was that he took it from a man seen as shady. Fortas was asked to resign because the whole thing seemed sleazy and sordid, not necessarily illegal. It is an important distinction. If someone had mounted a full-scale investigation, could they have uncovered some act that could be found to be criminal? Maybe, but who knows? No such investigation was mounted, or even prepared. Fortas' critics may have implied that something illegal might be involved in the affair, but they never actually "alleged" it.

2. It is gratuitous. The circumstances of Fortas’ resignation from the bench are dealt with in depth in the full article. Even if we were to grant the statement that Fortas' took "an allegedly illegal payment," the inclusion of such detail right up front is bad biography. The summary paragraph needs to have a few more sentences explaining why the guy's career was important from the broad standpoint of US history rather than this useless detail about his resignation. Resigned under pressure is enough for the casual user who wants to know who this guy is. Those interested in what kind of pressure and why can look below for the debated details.

I've added that Fortas joined the armed forces in 1945, but was discharged after a month. This is from the Court's official bio. What I cannot readily confirm is the allegation that this was a ruse to get him out of the service very early. The Blue Oyster Cult song "Harvester of Eyes". written by Richard Meltzer, with the line "I'm the eye-man of TV, with my ocular TB," makes reference to this. Meltzer says the televised Senate confirmation hearings on Fortas inspired the lyrics. It's just interesting, but not relevant to the article. But..someone should know! Scott Clarkson 13:14, 4 August 2007 (UTC)


I think the use of the word "secret" in secret payment biases the text. Fortas accepted a payment from Wolfson, not sure on what basis it would be called "secret." Also, this language "expected that his arrangement with Fortas would help him stave off criminal charges or help him secure a presidential pardon" was an allegation, not a fact. Those seeking Fortas' resignation (I would say "seat" but that haría be biased) alleged that it was accepted in exchange for such "service" but this was never proved. Fortas did recuse himself from the matter when it came before the bench. So, I'd lose the word "secret" above and add the word "alleged" below.
Wikikd 02:45, 16 September 2007 (UTC) After thinking this over for a year and doing a bit of checking: yes Fortas did recuse himself from the matter --as added above. Also the text, in putting mention of the return of the money después mentioning Wolfson's conviction implies that the funds were returned after Wolfson was convicted. but they were returned earlier. So I moved that fact up to its own sentence before mention of W's conviction. --Wikikd (talk) 02:16, 26 September 2008 (UTC)Wikikd

A temporary subpage at User:Polbot/fjc/Abe Fortas was automatically created by a perl script, based on this article at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. The subpage should either be merged into this article, or moved and disambiguated. Polbot (talk) 20:53, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

How in the WORLD is there not an iota of mention of the ethics problems of Fortas that caused his nomination to be revoked? This is an amazing omission. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.164.83.136 (talk) 19:18, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). TJRC (talk) 05:42, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

"Fortas was the architect and author of the broader landmark majority opinion in Epperson v. Arkansas that eventually emerged banning religiously-based creation narratives from public school science curricula."

This isn't what the case did at all, the case simply overturned laws banning the teaching of evolution in public schools (so-called Monkey Laws). Perhaps an edit should be made to reflect this. See Epperson v. Arkansas#Consequences — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.206.92.227 (talk) 23:17, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

I am finally reading Stanley Karnow's book about the Viet Nam war. On page 436 he makes an interesting case that during the period of time that LBJ was making the decisions that escalated the Viet Nam war his closest and most influential advisor was Abe Fortas. I am surprised that there is no mention of this on his Wikipedia page. I don't feel it is my place to edit the page myself. I am not an expert on the Johnson presidency or the history of the Supreme Court. I am requesting that someone who is look it over, and decide if this information be included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.61.20.206 (talk) 13:17, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

wasn't this an extremely important case involving Abe Fortas? is there a reason why it isn't mentioned? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.147.121.191 (talk) 18:18, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Afroyim v. Rusk exists. Did Fortas have an important role in the case? - Location (talk) 19:46, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

It was a 5-4 case, Fortas voted with the majority. I had thought Fortas wrote the majority opinion but apparently all 5 who voted in favor of Afroyim co-wrote the majority opinion. A link to the Afroyim case wiki page from this page would be a good idea as it was a huge case and a 5-4 vote. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.147.121.191 (talk) 12:33, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

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Abe Fortas Net Worth

Let's check, How Rich is Abe Fortas in 2021? Abe Fortas's estimated Net Worth, Salario, Ingresos, Automóviles, Estilos de vida y muchos más detalles se han actualizado a continuación.

Valor neto
Estimated Net Worth in 2021$1 Million - $5 Million (Approx.)
Previous Year's Net Worth (2020)$100,000 - $1 Million
Salario anualBajo revisión
Fuente de ingresosPrimary Income source Supreme Court Justice (profession)

Noted, Currently We don't have enough information about Cars, Monthly/Yearly Salary etc. We will update soon.

Does Abe Fortas Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Abe Fortas is died (as per Wikipedia, Last update: September 20, 2020).

Reference: Wikipedia, IMDb, Onthisday. Last update: 2020-12-20 10:27


EX-JUSTICE ABE FORTAS DIES AT 71 SHAPED HISTORIC RULINGS ON RIGHTS

Former Associate Justice Abe Fortas, who resigned from the Supreme Court in 1969, died of a ruptured aorta Monday night at his home here.

At 71 years of age, he maintained an active law practice. Just two weeks before his death, Mr. Fortas returned to the Supreme Court to argue a case for the first time since his resignation. He said in an interview that he planned to keep on practicing law ''until my clients retire me or the Lord retires me.'' Clamor Over $20,000 Fee

Mr. Fortas resigned from the Court amid an uproar over disclosures that he had accepted a $20,000 fee from a foundation controlled by Louis E. Wolfson, a friend and former client who at the time of the payment was under Federal investigation for violating securities laws.

His resignation ended a stormy three-and-a-half-year tenure on the Court, which included an abortive effort by President Johnson to name him Chief Justice, and made Mr. Fortas the only Justice in the history of the Supreme Court to resign under the pressure of public criticism.

For the rest of his life, and conceivably in the history books as well, that fact overshadowed the accomplishments of a long and brilliantly successful legal career. A Washington Insider

His service on the Court was in fact only a chapter, by many accounts a reluctant one, in a career as a consummate Washington insider. Mr. Fortas, who was a protege of Associate Justice William O. Douglas when he was teaching at the Yale Law School, arrived in Washington with the generation of young lawyers who helped shape and carry out the New Deal.

He went on to become a founding partner of one of the capital's most successful law firms and to serve as a friend and confidant to one of Washington's most successful political practitioners, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Their relationship began with legal assistance that Mr. Fortas rendered to Johnson's Senate campaign in 1948. Mr. Fortas was one of the first people Johnson called from Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and he was waiting at Andrews Air Force Base to meet the new President on the night of President Kennedy's assassination.

In 1965, shortly before Johnson named him to the Court, Mr. Fortas listed himself in the new edition of ''Who's Who in the South and Southwest'' as ''Presidential adviser'' and gave his address as: '⟊re of the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.''

Mr. Fortas was reluctant to give up private practice and turned down Johnson's initial offer of a seat on the Court. Finally, the President summoned his friend to the White House and told him, ''I'm sending 50,000 boys to Vietnam and I'm sending you to the Supreme Court.'' The vacancy was created by the resignation of Arthur J. Goldberg, whom Mr. Johnson had persuaded to leave the Court to become the nation's chief delegate to the United Nations.

His new job meant a drop in income from an estimated $200,000 a year to $39,500. His wife, Carolyn E. Agger, a highly successful tax lawyer, was earning a high income herself, but the difference was still substantial, and Mr. Fortas made pointed jokes about the low level of judicial compensation. Chosen to Argue Major Case

The Supreme Court was familiar territory to the new Associate Justice. Three years earlier, the Court had appointed him to argue on behalf of Clarence Earl Gideon, an indigent Florida prisoner, who had been convicted in the absence of a lawyer of breaking into a pool hall. The case promised to be a major constitutional test of the right to counsel, and the assignment was an honor.

Mr. Fortas and younger lawyers at his firm, Arnold, Fortas & Porter, spent months preparing Mr. Gideon's appeal. Their brief, and Mr. Fortas's oral argument, came to be regarded as models of craftsmanship. The Court ruled unanimously that the Constitution requires the states to assure free counsel for the poor in every serious criminal case.

On the Court, Mr. Fortas established himself as a member of the then dominant liberal bloc. Perhaps his most important opinion came in a juvenile rights case in 1966 called In re Gault, which established for the first time that children facing court proceedings are entitled to many of the constitutional protections enjoyed by adults.

''Under our Constitution,'' Justice Fortas wrote, ''the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court.'' Role in Rights Decisions

The Court in the late 1960's, under the leadership of Chief Justice Earl Warren, was in the midst of a historic expansion of individual rights, and Justice Fortas was a full participant in those decisions.

He also remained an active participant in the high councils of state. President Johnson never stopped relying on him for advice, and he never stopped providing it, whether the subject was judicial nominations or foreign policy.

Johnson consulted with Justice Fortas on such matters as steel price increases, transportation strikes and, increasingly, the war in Vietnam.

He once called Albert L. Nickerson, chairman of the Mobil Oil Company, to transmit the President's annoyance with the public prediction by a business group that Mr. Nickerson also chaired that Government spending on the war in Vietnam would be $5 billion more than the Administration had publicly predicted.

''I am a Justice of the Supreme Court, but I am still a citizen,'' Justice Fortas said in defense of his action when that incident came to light. Bid to Make Him Chief Justice

Criticism of Justice Fortas's continued closeness to President Johnson grew and played a role in the failure of the President's effort to give his friend the Chief Justiceship.

In 1968, when Chief Justice Warren told Johnson that he wanted to retire, the President sent Justice Fortas's name to the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee grappled with the nomination over the summer and it was late September, with the Presidential election campaign in full swing, before debate began on the Senate floor.

Mr. Fortas was criticized for his outside activities, his judicial philosophy, and for what a number of senators viewed as excesses of the Warren Court. Partisan politics played a role, too, with Republicans hoping to keep the seat open in the event that Richard M. Nixon won the Presidency.

On Oct. 2, after his supporters failed to end a filibuster on the Senate floor, Mr. Fortas asked Johnson to withdraw his name to end what he called the '⟞structive and extreme assaults upon the Court.''

Johnson complied, calling the Senate's action ''historically and constitutionally tragic.'' The post that was to have been Justice Fortas's went to Warren E. Burger a year later. Resigns After Disclosure

A second crisis confronted Justice Fortas barely seven months after the Senate debacle: the disclosure, in Life Magazine, of his financial relationship with Louis E. Wolfson. The details emerged rapidly after the initial disclosure on May 4, 1969. Justice Fortas submitted his resignation on May 14.

Mr. Fortas accepted the $20,000 fee from the Wolfson family foundation in early 1966, soon after he joined the Court, at a time when Mr. Wolfson was under active Federal investigation. The fee was to be the first installment of an annual $20,000 payment that was to continue for the rest of Mr. Fortas's life and, after his death, for the rest of his wife's life.

However, he canceled the arrangement and returned the fee later that year after Mr. Wolfson was indicted on stock fraud charges. Mr. Fortas's obligations in return for the money were not specified except that he was to help shape the program and activities of the foundation.

When the arrangement came to light in 1969, Mr. Wolfson was in prison and there were cries in Congress for Mr. Fortas's impeachment. Mr. Fortas continued to insist that he had done nothing improper. In the letter of resignation he sent to Chief Justice Warren, he said that although he and Mr. Wolfson had on occasion discussed Mr. Wolfson's ''problems,'' he had never interceded on his friend's behalf. However, he said, ''it seems clear to me that it is not my duty to remain on the Court, but rather to resign in the hope that this will enable the Court to proceed with its vital work free from extraneous stress.'' Blackmun Gets Seat

President Nixon nominated first Clement F. Haynsworth and then G. Harrold Carswell to the vacancy. When both nominations failed, he nominated Harry A. Blackmun. Justice Blackmun today called his predecessor 'ɺ person of great legal ability and talent'' who was 'ɾxtraordinarily nice to me on every occasion.''

Chief Justice Burger issued a statement praising Justice Fortas's ''illustrious career as a member of the bar and in public office.'' Associate Justices William J. Brennan Jr. and Thurgood Marshall, who both served with Justice Fortas, said in a joint statement: ''He was not only an esteemed colleague but also a close friend. We shall miss him.''

Abe Fortas was born June 19, 1910 in Memphis, the youngest of five children. His father, William, was a cabinetmaker, an Orthodox Jew who had immigrated from England. Lifelong Interest in Music

His father encouraged him to take violin lessons, and the boy was soon playing the violin at dances to earn money for college. He retained a serious interest in music and musicians all his life. He played in an informal chamber music group in Washington, and once remarked that music is ''one thing I can't live without.''

He attended public schools in Memphis and received his undergraduate degree from Southwestern College there in 1930. He graduated in 1933 from Yale Law School, first in his class and editor in chief of the Yale Law Journal.

William O. Douglas, who was then teaching at Yale, arranged an assistant professorship for Mr. Fortas, who spent the next four years commuting between the law school and Washington, where Mr. Douglas had gone to become chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Fortas took on part-time assignments with the commission and other New Deal agencies.

In 1935, he married Carolyn E. Agger, whom he persuaded to go to Yale Law School. She graduated second in her class, and is now a partner at Mr. Fortas's former law firm, which is known now as Arnold & Porter. Represented Big Corporations

He started the firm in 1946 in partnership with Thurman Arnold, who had headed the antitrust division in the Department of Justice. The firm flourished, representing the Washington interests of a number of the country's biggest corporations.

Before going into private practice, Mr. Fortas held a variety of jobs in the Roosevelt Administration, including general counsel of the Public Works Administration and Under Secretary of the Interior. The Interior Secretary, Harold L. Ickes, introduced Mr. Fortas to Lyndon Johnson, then a young Congressman. ''I knew they were both comers and could help one another,'' Mr. Ickes said years later.

In 1948, Johnson won the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate by a margin of 87 votes, and his opponent persuaded a Federal judge to keep Johnson's name off the ballot in the general election so an investigation could be conducted. Helped Johnson Stay on Ballot

Johnson asked Mr. Fortas to help him, and the young lawyer managed to persuade Hugo L. Black, the Supreme Court Justice with supervisory authority over the Federal courts in Texas, to restore Johnson's name to the ballot. Johnson won the election.

In World War II, Mr. Fortas joined the Army but was discharged after a month because of an eye ailment. After his resignation from the Court, Mr. Fortas did not return to his former firm. He practiced with a five-lawyer firm, Fortas & Koven.

He and his wife had no children. They lived in Georgetown and had a summer house in Connecticut. The funeral service is expected to be private, with a public memorial service planned for later this spring.


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