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

unchartered prerogatives of every individual man and now the constitutional, inviolable rights of an American citizen.

In essence, Campbell tried to marry laissez faire capitalism to the Fourteenth Amendment, but the Court refused to perform the ceremony for two decades. While he thus lost the case by a five-four decision, his reasoning was to triumph when future decisions would protect private business from governmental encroachment by extending the due process clause to cover private property as well as persons. At heart, Campbell and his clients were less concerned about creating positive conditions promoting individual equality of opportunity than with building walls to turn back public efforts to restrict private vested interests. Such conservatism by Campbell was in conflict with his earlier progressivism. Representing importers and steamship, gas, and railroad owners in the postwar period, Campbell in effect sold out his antebellum dissents to the highest bidder. He received a fair price for his switch, earning large fees and the approval and admiration of the business world- when any difficult conflict between the corporations and government arose the businessmen were urged to "leave it to God and Mr. Campbell." Regulation and public control, which Campbell had once during the 1850's considered needed reform, had, by the 1870's, become wicked socialism. Similarly, Campbell, who had been more moderate about slavery than most southerners in the antebellum years, largely opposed Reconstruction and questioned the wisdom of black suffrage. In short, Campbell remained a Bourbon, if a mild one, to the very end. He died on March 12, 1889, at the age of nearly seventy-eight. Death came at the end of a long illness resulting from old age. Fame and fortune had alternately blessed, then cursed, and finally tarnished Campbell during his lifetime. But fate was not to be kind in death, as his obscure obituaries in the national press confirm. The price of his own secession from the Union and Jacksonianism had come high. He was now forgotten.


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

The manuscripts of Justice Campbell are located at the University of North Carolina. The most comprehensive biography is Henry G. Connor, John Archibald Campbell ( Cambridge, Mass., 1920), but the study is generally outmoded, thin, and uncritical in its constitutional aspects and comprehensively ignorant of the political history of the Civil War. Nevertheless, Connor's analysis of Campbell's temperament and intellect is penetrating. More interesting and important is the periodical literature. An excellent analysis of Campbell's antebellum legal thought in the economic sphere is John R. Schmidhauser , "Jeremy Bentham, the Contract Clause, and Justice John Archibald Campbell," 11 Vanderbilt Law Review 801 ( 1958). An interesting but not completely persuasive speculation on the reasons for Campbell's resig

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

Table of contents

  • The Justices of the United States Supreme Court - Their Lives and Major Opinions *
  • Contents *
  • About the Editors and Contributors vi
  • Peter V. Daniel *
  • Selected Bibliography 406
  • Samuel Nelson *
  • Selected Bibliography 420
  • Levi Woodbury *
  • Selected Bibliography 433
  • Robert C. Grier *
  • Selected Bibliography 445
  • Benjamin R. Curtis *
  • Selected Bibliography 460
  • John A. Campbell *
  • Selected Bibliography 475
  • Nathan Clifford *
  • Selected Bibliography 490
  • Noah H. Swayne *
  • Selected Bibliography 502
  • Samuel Miller *
  • Selected Bibliography 518
  • David Davis *
  • Selected Bibliography 528
  • Stephen J. Field *
  • Selected Bibliography 550
  • Salmon P. Chase *
  • Selected Bibliography 567
  • William Strong *
  • Selected Bibliography 578
  • Joseph P. Bradley *
  • Selected Bibliography 599
  • Ward Hunt *
  • Selected Bibliography 609
  • Morrison R. Waite *
  • Selected Bibliography 625
  • John M. Harlan *
  • Selected Bibliography 642
  • William B. Woods *
  • Selected Bibliography 653
  • Stanley Matthews *
  • Selected Bibliography 665
  • Horace Gray *
  • Selected Bibliography 677
  • Samuel Blatchford *
  • Selected Bibliography 692
  • Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar *
  • Selected Bibliography 714
  • Melville W. Fuller *
  • Selected Bibliography 740
  • David J. Brewer *
  • Selected Bibliography 761
  • Henry Billings Brown *
  • Selected Bibliography 773
  • George Shiras, Jr. *
  • Selected Bibliography 790
  • Howell E. Jackson *
  • Selected Bibliography 804
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