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George Sutherland

Sutherland, George, 1862–1942, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1922–38), b. Buckinghamshire, England. He was taken by his family to Springville, Utah from England in 1864. After studying law at the Univ. of Michigan, he was admitted (1883) to the bar, practiced law in Utah, and was (1896–1900) a member of the state senate. Sutherland then served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1901–2), and Senate (1905–17). His important decisions included Powell v. Alabama (1932), where he ruled that a conviction in the notorious Scottsboro Case was unconstitutional, because the defendants had been deprived of a right to counsel. In Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. v. United States (1936), he found that the executive branch held certain powers in foreign affairs not dependent on congressional authorization. Sutherland is best remembered as a conservative who consistently voted against much of the New Deal social legislation that came before the court. He wrote Constitutional Power and World Affairs (1919).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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