Hugo Black

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Hugo Black
Former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
From: August 18, 1937 – September 17, 1971
Nominator Harry Truman
Predecessor Willis Van Devanter
Successor Lewis Powell
U.S. Senator from Alabama
From: March 4, 1927 – August 19, 1937
Predecessor Oscar W. Underwood
Successor Dixie B. Graves
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Josephine Foster (1921-1951)
Elizabeth Seay DeMeritte (1957-death)

Hugo LaFayette Black (February 27, 1886–September 25, 1971) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, he served from August 19, 1937 – September 17, 1971.

He had previously served as a Democrat in the U.S. Senate from 1926-1937, representing the State of Alabama. Before his political career he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.

As a Supreme Court Justice, Black was completely opposed to:

  • school prayer
  • religion in public life
  • patent rights
  • any limitations on pornography

Justice Black was the leading proponent of incorporation doctrine.

Black often insisted on a literalist interpretation of the Bill of Rights, and he dissented from Griswold v. Connecticut.