The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions - Vol. 2

By Leon Friedman; Fred L. Israel | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Grier's performance in the Legal Tender Cases brought the situation to the crisis point. The Kentucky case Hepburn v. Griswold, 8 Wall. 603 ( 1870), came before the Court in late 1867. But a decision was not handed down until two years later, and announced in February, 1870. The Justices, then eight in number, had voted on the case in December, 1869. Grier's mind was wandering. In conference, at first he voted in favor of the Act and a four-four tie resulted. But on the very next case he made a ruling on legal tender in conflict with the vote he had just made in the Hepburn case. When his colleagues told him of this he changed his vote. Thus the final vote was five to three against the validity of the greenbacks. Grier felt that the Legal Tender Act had not been intended to apply to previous contracts, and the case might be disposed of without holding the act unconstitutional. But Chief Justice Chase, and the other majority Justices, held it clearly did cover prior contracts, and Grier reluctantly went along with them.

Resignation was clearly in order. Grier's disability had already become the subject for commentary on the floor of Congress during debate on a judiciary bill. A reference was made to "one of the most eminent members ... [of the Court] who is not able today to reach the bench without being borne to it by the hands of others." Judicial pensions had been liberalized as well. All Grier's colleagues, led by Field, urged that he step down. He agreed to do so in December, 1869, the resignation to take effect the following February. He died six months later in Philadelphia, which had been his home since his appointment to the Court.

Grier was a large man, over six feet, with a ruddy complexion and jovial countenance which hid what could be at times an explosive temper. He was not a man of "exquisite refinement," as might be said by a nineteenth century biographer of his subject, but Edward Bates' negative appraisal is not borne out by other observers: "Mr. Justice Grier is a natural-born vulgarian, and, by long habit, coarse and harsh." If one may discount his final four or five years on the Bench, Grier may be rated among that large and amorphous middling group of judicial craftsmen who neither lead nor are completely dominated by others. Before the Civil War, Grier was one of the props of the Taney Court, with its due regard for the rights of the states. In the Prize Cases he demonstrated the depth of his commitment to the preservation of the Union.


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

No biography or scholarly article has yet been written of Justice Grier. Material for this essay was drawn from the following two sources: David Paul Brown , The Forum; or Forty Years Full Practice at the Philadelphia Bar ( Philadelphia, 1856), and Francis R. Jones, "Robert Cooper Grier," 16 Green Bag 221 ( 1904).

-445-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions - Vol. 2
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 805

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.