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39 Va. L. Rev. 883 (1953)
Chief Justices I Have Known

handle is hein.journals/valr39 and id is 885 raw text is: VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW
VOLUME 39                November, 1953                     No. 7
'M TOLD you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but my problem
tonight is not to try to indulge in new tricks but to see if I can
recall an old trick-talking to a group of people. This is a larger
group than I like to talk to. (That is not directed against anyone in
particular who exceeds the limit.) I must see if I can do what I used
to do for twenty-five years-sit in a room and talk with students,
fellow students, the difference between whom and myself was merely
that I had traveled the road once, or several times, before they did.
Here I am without a note, and therefore we'll just have a chat.
This room is larger than the room in which I used to talk and chat
with students at the Harvard Law School, but we'll contract the walls
and I'll have this discourse with you as though you were just sitting
around that room, which for twenty-five years gave me such pleasure,
and such stimulus, and such delight as only the young can give to a
teacher. I'm sure Dr. Glass knows this as well as I do. It's about as
pleasurable a thing as can come to a man-for man read also woman-
in a lifetime.
I'm told to talk to you about Chief Justices I've known, or some
other subject that might interest law students-and you're all law
students, either by consanguinity, or by conjugal rights and duties.
I'll talk just as it lies in my mind.
It is 164 years since the Supreme Court of the United States was
established by an Act of Congress. During those 164 years there have
been, including the present incumbent, thirteen Chief justices. It
seems almost absurd, old as I am, to think that I've known six of them.
The mystery is easily resolved by the fact that the term of office of
Chief Justices, if nature is kind, as happily it has been to some of the
greatest of them, is longer than that of any other official in our govern-
OInformal talk given at the University of Virginia Law School on 12 May 1953.
tAssociate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States.

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