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9 De Novo: Newsl. L. Libr. La. 1 (2011-2012)

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by Georgia Chadwick

Professor Paul R. Baier with Justice John L. Weimer at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park Theatre,
September 17, 2011.

E   dward   Douglass  White  took
    his seat as Chief Justice of the
United States on December 19, 1910.
For the past year Louisiana State Uni-
versity law professor Paul R. Baier
has  served as a one-man   Centen-
nial Celebration Committee to honor
White, the only Louisianan to serve
on the Supreme Court of the United
States.  The Centennial Year started
out appropriately in Thibodaux, Loui-
siana, where White was born on his
parents' plantation in 1844. On De-
cember  18, 2010, Professor Baier's
guest editorial on the significance
of White's life and career appeared
in Thibodaux's Daily Comet. On the
Centennial Day, Sunday, December
19, 2010, at the invitation of Bishop
Sam  Jacobs, he  delivered remarks
rekindling White's memory   to the
faithful at a Centennial service at St.
Joseph's Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux.

The  highlight of Professor Baier's

Centennial Year was the preview
of his play Father ChiefJustice:
Edward  Douglass White and  the
Constitution at the Coolidge Au-
ditorium in the Jefferson Building
of the Library of Congress, across
the street from the U.S. Capitol.
The  play about the ninth Chief
Justice was presented on Mardi
Gras Day, March 8, 2011. March
8 is also the birthday of White's
former Union foe and later good
friend and Brother on the bench,
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes,
Jr. The audience is treated to a
living portrait of White through
important events in his life: being
captured as a young Confederate
soldier during the Civil War, a sur-
vey of his important opinions, and
a look at his interactions with fel-
lowjustices on the Supreme Court.

Playwright/Professor Baier casts
prominent local lawyers as his ac-

tors, which increases the size of
the audience. For his Coolidge
Auditorium performance, the fol-
lowing were  featured: Charles
Cooper, Cooper & Kirk, as Chief
Justice White;  Ronald  Flagg,
president of the District of Co-
lumbia Bar, as Justice John Mar-
shall Harlan;  Tom   Goldstein,
U.S.  Supreme  Court  Blogger,
as Justice Louis Brandeis; Law
Librarian of Congress  Roberta
I. Shaffer as Fanny Holmes; and
Jacob  A. Stein, Stein, Mitch-
ell & Muse, as an elder Justice
Holmes.   Donald  A. Hoffman,
Leake  and Andersson,  traveled
from New  Orleans to reprise his
part as Justice Holmes delivering
his famed Abrams dissent on the
value of freedom of speech even
in time of war. Professor Baier
appeared in his signature role as
Professor Richard Henry  Jesse,

              continued on page 2

                                                                    Volume 9, Issue 1
                                                                          Fall 2011

           The Newsletter of
The Law Library of Louisiana

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