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Tom C. Clark

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“I shall be glad to help on the membership drive in any way I can.”

Thomas Campbell Clark, 1899–1977.  Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, 1949–1967.  Typed Letter Signed, Tom Clark, one page, 8” x 10½”, on stationery of the Supreme Court of the United States, March 17, 1968.  With holograph postscript signed TCC.

This letter, with its three-line handwritten P.S., provides an excellent example of Justice Clark’s holograph. Clark assures Donald Perser, the Assistant Director of the American Judicature Society, of his willingness to assist in the Society’s membership drive and suggests the names of District of Columbia lawyers whom Perser might contact.  He writes, in part:  “I shall be glad to help on the membership drive in any way I can.  From your letter I gather that Messrs. Bress, Conner and Hill are already at work on the District of Columbia prospects.  /  You asked for suggestions and I think first of Frank Reifsnyder, this year’s chairman of the Section of Judicial Administration, and John Lynham. . . . Both are well known in the District and highly regarded.”  In a holograph postscript, he adds, in part:  “You might also write John Nolan, . . . and Barrett Prettyman, Jr. . . . ; also Earl Kintner . . . .”

President Harry S. Truman appointed Clark Attorney General in 1945, a post that he held for just over four years before Truman appointed him to the Supreme Court in August 1949.  He served until 1967, when he resigned in order to avoid a conflict of interest when President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed his son, Ramsey Clark, Attorney General.  After his resignation, in addition to sitting as a visiting Justice on lower courts, Clark served as director of the Federal Judicial Center and as chair of the Board of Directors of the American Judicature Society.

Reifsnyder (1920–2007) chaired the American Bar Association Section on Judicial Administration, the first person to chair the section without previously serving as a judge.  He served as a director of the American Judicature Society for four years, 1972–1976.  Lynham  (1908–1987) practiced law in Washington, D.C., and was a member of both the American Judicature Society and the Institute of Judicial Administration. Nolan (1927–2017) and Prettyman (1925–2016), whose father was a prominent federal Court of Appeals judge, served as assistants to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and negotiated with Fidel Castro for the return of the Americans captured in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.  Kintner (1912–1991) served as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission three years, 1959–1961, and later practiced law in Washington, D.C.

Justice Clark has signed this letter and written and signed the postscript in black fountain pen.  The letter has normal mailing folds and scattered light handling marks.  Overall it is in fine condition.



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