Clark, Tom Campbell

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Clark, Tom Campbell

Tom Campbell Clark, 1899–1977, U.S. attorney general (1945–49), associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1949–67), b. Dallas, Tex.; father of Ramsey Clark. He received his law degree from the Univ. of Texas. Clark joined the Justice Dept. (1937) as a special assistant to the attorney general. He coordinated the forced wartime relocation of West Coast Japanese-Americans and headed the antitrust division before becoming attorney general in 1945. He was noted for vigorous enforcement of antitrust laws and the introduction of the attorney general's list of subversive political organizations. He was appointed (Aug., 1949) by President Harry S. Truman to the Supreme Court bench as successor to Frank Murphy. Although his opinions on the court were generally conservative in the matter of alleged subversives, he was a frequent supporter of civil liberties. In a 1963 decision he wrote the majority opinion prohibiting the reading of the Bible in public schools. Clark retired from the court in 1967 after his son, Ramsey, was named U.S. attorney general.

See A. Wohl, Father, Son, and Constitution (2013).

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