Monday, April 1, 2024

Attorney General Jackson Famous 1940 Speech on the Role of the Federal Prosecutor (4/1/24; 4/3/24)

I have recently written an article featuring Justice Robert H. Jackson’s contributions to tax law and to administrative law, The Tax Contribution to Deference and APA § 706 (SSRN 4665227 January 17, 2024), here. I am a Justice Jackson fan, heavily influenced by his contributions to the discussion of deference in tax cases and other contributions to tax as IRS Chief Counsel, Assistant Attorney General for Tax, Solicitor General, Attorney General, and then as Supreme Court Justice authoring the famous unanimous opinion in Dobson v. Commissioner, 320 U.S. 489 (1943), here, reh. den. 321 U.S. 231 (1944), here. (Note: many citations to Dobson omit the opinion denying rehearing, but the opinion on denial of rehearing is important for understanding Dobson.; one interesting feature of the opinion on rehearing is that Justice Douglas dissented in the denial of rehearing without explaining his position (not uncommon for Douglas in tax cases) but Justice Douglas had not dissented from the original opinion. See * below)

Correction 4/3/24 4:40pm: I have corrected the bold-face to say Douglas rather than Jackson. I apologize for that error.

Justice Jackson did so much more than tax; indeed, his major contributions to the country were not tax contributions; those major contributions should not eclipse his tax contributions though.

Today, I received an email from a Jackson scholar, John Q. Barrett, professor of law at St. John’s University (bio here). The bio mentions that his emails for his “Jackson List” go to more than 100,000 readers.  In today’s email, Professor Barrett quotes in full Justice Jackson’s famous speech on April 1, 1940 as Attorney General titled “The Federal Prosecutor.” Readers of this blog may read the entire speech on the Jackson Center site, here (with a link to its original publication in  ); and on DOJ site here. Sprinkled through the speech are some real gems of wisdom about the prosecutor’s role. I will not “cherry-pick” the best or my favorite quotes because all are good and are really appreciated best in the full context of the speech. (I do alert that he does not mention the word “tax” in the speech; perhaps that alert may induce some to read the speech.)



* On Justice Douglas’ propensity to offer no opinion for his dissents in tax cases, see Bernard Wolfman, Jonathan L.F. Silver, & Marjorie A. Silver, The Behavior of Justice Douglas in Federal Tax Cases 122 U. Pa. L. Rev. 235 (1973), later turned into a book titled Dissent Without Opinion: The Behavior of Justice Douglas in Federal Tax Cases (1975).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please make sure that your comment is relevant to the blog entry. For those regular commenters on the blog who otherwise do not want to identify by name, readers would find it helpful if you would choose a unique anonymous indentifier other than just Anonymous. This will help readers identify other comments from a trusted source, so to speak.