|Former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court|
From: August 18, 1937 – September 17, 1971
|Nominator||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Predecessor||Willis Van Devanter|
|U.S. Senator from Alabama|
From: March 4, 1927 – August 19, 1937
|Predecessor||Oscar W. Underwood|
|Successor||Dixie B. Graves|
|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. Black built his winning Senate campaign around multiple appearances at KKK meetings. Before his political career he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. In 1921 Black successfully defended E. R. Stephenson in his trial for the murder of a Catholic priest, Fr. James E. Coyle.
As a Supreme Court Justice, Black was completely opposed to:
- school prayer
- religion in public life
- patent rights
- any limitations on pornography
Black was well known for his anti-Catholic viewpoints, and was profoundly influenced by the writings of Paul Blanshard, a socialist. In Korematsu v. the United States, Black voted to uphold President Roosevelt's mass arrests and incarceration of Japanese men, women, and children based on race.