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of the Supreme Court of the United States for thirteen active years from 1945 to 1958. He died October 28, 1964, and is mourned by members of the profession, his many friends, and citizens everywhere.
"Harold Hitz Burton was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, on June 22, 1888. His great-grandfather, John Hitz, was the first Swiss Consul General to the United States, and his home was within what is now the Capitol Plaza diagonally across the street from the present Supreme Court building.
"Harold Burton's early education was in Switzerland where his mother had returned for her health. As a result, he was bilingual in English and in French and this undoubtedly contributed to his broad outlook. His mother died when he was seven years old, and he returned to the United States. He attended the Newton High School, and then went on to Bowdoin College, where he received the A.B. degree in 1909. His roommate at Bowdoin was Owen Brewster, later Senator of the United States from the State of Maine. Both Brewster and Burton proceeded to the Harvard Law School, and received their LL.B. degrees in the class of 1912. Other members of that class included John G. Buchanan of the Pittsburgh bar, Charles Evans Hughes, Jr., formerly Solicitor General of the United States, and later of the New York bar, and Ivan Cleveland Rand, who became a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
“Justice Burton was married on June 15, 1912, immediately after his graduation from Law School to Selma Florence Smith, of West Newton, Massachusetts, then a recent graduate of Wellesley College. This was a happy union, and Mrs. Burton was a constant support and a source of strength to the Justice. They had four children, two daughters and two sons. Both of the sons are graduates of the Harvard Law School, and members of the bar of this Court.
“After leaving Law School, Harold Burton headed west, and was in practice in Cleveland for two years. Then he
went still farther west, and worked as a lawyer in Salt Lake City, and Boise, Idaho, from 1914 to 1917. With the outbreak of war, in 1917, he entered officers' training. He was commissioned a First Lieutenant, and eventually a Captain. From June 1918, he served in France, participating in the St. Mihiel offensive in September, in the Meuse-Argonne, and later in Belgium as operations officer of his regiment. His Colonel recorded that 'much of the success of the operations of the regiment was due to his careful analysis of all situations as they arose, and thorough preparation of the command for whatever emergency was to be met. He was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre, and the United States Army Meritorious Service citation. When the order of the Purple Heart was established in 1932, he received its medal.
"With the close of the war, he returned to Cleveland, and spent the next ten years in private practice. During this period, however, he carried on many other activities. He taught Corporation Law at the Western Reserve University Law School. He was President of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, and Chairman of the Research Committee of the Citizens Committee on Regional Government. He was also active in important posts in the American Legion.
“At the close of this period, his character, outlook, and standing are clearly shown by a perceptive passage in a letter written to him by a leading citizen of Cleveland, Newton D. Baker. Some members of the bar had advanced Harold Burton for appointment to the United States District Court. As things worked out, it was perhaps fortunate that this did not succeed. At any rate, when the appointment went elsewhere, Mr. Baker wrote to him: 'My own mind leaned to you because you are young, studious, educated and have a desire to serve your day and generation measured by other standards than the mere monetary reward. There is a long career of fine usefulness ahead of you and I shall watch with delight the successful steps you take in accomplishing it.'
“In 1928, Harold Burton became a member of the Board of Education of East Cleveland. In November of that year, he was elected a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. On October 15, 1929, he was appointed Director of Law of the City of Cleveland, an office which he held until November 9, 1931. For a part of this time, he was Acting City Manager of Cleveland. On November 9, 1931, he became Acting Mayor of Cleveland, a post which he held unti! February 20 of the following year. For the next three years, he resumed private practice specializing in municipal law, but continued his active interest in public affairs. He was Associate Counsel for the City of Cleveland in its gas rate litigation. He was Chairman of the Intercity Committee of Lake Erie Ports. He was Chairman of the Cleveland Board of Education Committee on Citizenship Training, a member of the Governor's Commission on County Government, and Chairman of the County Charter Commission of Cuyahoga County.
“In 1935, Harold Burton was elected Mayor of Cleveland. He was reelected in 1937 and 1939. Thus, he was Mayor of this great and complex city during one of its most difficult periods in history, a service which he performed with devotion and skill, and with the acclaim of all elements in the community.
“In November 1940, Harold Burton was elected United States Senator from Ohio, and he resigned as Mayor in December 1940. On his last day as Mayor, the Cleveland News wrote:
"'We consider this to be the most unusual man in American politics, and the most unusual Mayor any city has had in these times. Other cities can take their LaGuardias, Kelleys, Hoans. We'll take you; the outstanding exponent of a city government that is honest, high minded, and right in step with all its people, common and uncommon.'
"He took office as Senator on January 3, 1941. As a Senator, he quickly made himself known as a quiet and
effective worker for the public interest. He was a member of the Senate's Committee on the Conduct of the War, of which then Senator Truman was Chairman. During the same time, he was Moderator of the American Unitarian Association.
“In September 1945, President Truman appointed him as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and he took his seat on the bench on October 1, 1945.
"When Justice Burton was appointed to the Court, the Minister of his church in Cleveland, the Reverend Dilworth Lupton, summed up his qualities in a way which future events fulfilled. He said: 'He will bring to the office a sportsmanship that will win him the respect of both adherents and opponents; a plodding intellectual penetration that will search out the heart of great issues; a faculty for creative listening that is a prime requisite of a judicial mind; and a sense of quiet humor that marks a matured man.
“ 'And he will bring to the office a spirit of dedication to eternal principles—a dedication that few men possess.'
"In his work on the Court, he continued to show the qualities which had distinguished him in his earlier career. Few men, even among our greatest judges, have achieved the quality of disinterestedness so completely and effectively as Harold Burton did. He was quiet and thorough in his work, devoted to the Court and to the law, and wholly dispassionate in his reasoning and in his conclusions. He always had the warm respect of his colleagues, and the high regard of the members of the bar.
"His first opinion was a concurring opinion in the case of Markham v. Cabell, 326 U. S. 404, 413, involving the Trading with the Enemy Act. His final opinion was in
. Ashdown v. Utah, 357 U. S. 426, a first degree murder
In between, were many notable opinions, including his opinion for the Court in Henderson v. United States, 339 U. S. 816 (1950), where in his characteristic logical and dispassionate way he reached the conclusion that all persons are entitled to be free of discrimination on racial or other grounds in the operation of a carrier regulated by Federal statute. Other opinions which may be mentioned are his concurring opinion in the Steel Seizure case (Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U. S. 579, 655), where he decided against the validity of President Truman's action, and his powerful dissenting opinion in United States v. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 353 U. S. 586, 608. All of his opinions show great craftsmanship and thoroughness. They are simple, direct and unassuming, without verbal adornment or glittering phrase. They do not proceed by the broad sweep, or in generalities, but deal specifically with the case at hand. They are the work of a careful man whose mind penetrated deeply, step by step, and who reached his conclusions through painstaking effort. They reflect clearly the deep interest of Justice Burton in the viable administration of government in the interest of all the people. In this way, as well as in their professional skill, they are important contributions to our law.
"While on the Court, Harold Burton wrote a number of articles which expressed his point of view. He wrote about leading cases in the Court's history, about John Marshall, and about the Supreme Court and its independence.
1 The Cornerstone of Constitutional Law: The Extraordinary Case of Marbury v. Madison, 36 A. B. A. J. 805 (1950); The Dartmouth College Case: A Dramatization, 38 A. B. A. J. 991 (1952); Two Significant Decisions: Ex parte Milligan and Ex parte McCardle, 41 A. B. A. J. 121 (1955); and The Legal Tender Cases: A Celebrated Supreme Court Reversal, 42 A. B. A. J. 231 (1956).
2 “Justice the Guardian of Liberty”: John Marshall at the Trial of Aaron Burr, 37 A. B. A. J. 735 (1951); John Marshall—The Man, 104 U. Pa. L. Rev. 3 (1955).
3 The Supreme Court: Mr. Justice Burton Gives Interesting Comparisons, 33 A. B. A. J. 645 (1947); An Independent Judiciary: The Keystone of Our Freedom, 39 A. B. A. J. 1067 (1953); The Independence and Continuity of the Supreme Court of the United States, speech delivered in the National Convention of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity on June 22, 1956, at Cleveland, Ohio.