Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932, as Acting Chief Justice of the United States in January–February 1930. Noted for his long service and pithy opinions, deference to the decisions of elected legislatures, he is one of the most cited United States Supreme Court justices in history for his "clear and present danger" opinion for a unanimous Court in the 1919 case of Schenck v. United States, is one of the most influential American common law judges, honored during his lifetime in Great Britain as well as the United States. Holmes retired from the court at the age of 90, making him the oldest justice in the Supreme Court's history, he served as an Associate Justice and as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, was Weld Professor of Law at his alma mater, Harvard Law School. Profoundly influenced by his experience fighting in the American Civil War, Holmes helped move American legal thinking towards legal realism, as summed up in his maxim: "The life of the law has not been logic.
Holmes espoused a form of moral skepticism and opposed the doctrine of natural law, marking a significant shift in American jurisprudence. In one of his most famous opinions, his dissent in Abrams v. United States, he regarded the United States Constitution as "an experiment, as all life is an experiment" and believed that as a consequence "we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death." During his tenure on the Supreme Court, to which he was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt, he supported efforts for economic regulation and advocated broad freedom of speech under the First Amendment. These positions as well as his distinctive personality and writing style made him a popular figure with American progressives, his jurisprudence influenced much subsequent American legal thinking, including judicial consensus supporting New Deal regulatory law, influential schools of pragmatism, critical legal studies, law and economics.
He was one of only a handful of justices to be known as a scholar. Holmes was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to the prominent writer and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. and abolitionist Amelia Lee Jackson. Dr. Holmes was a leading figure in Boston intellectual and literary circles, Mrs. Holmes was connected to the leading families. Known as "Wendell" in his youth, Henry James Jr. and William James became lifelong friends. Holmes accordingly grew up in an atmosphere of intellectual achievement, early formed the ambition to be a man of letters like Emerson. While still in Harvard College he wrote essays on philosophic themes, asked Emerson to read his attack on Plato's idealist philosophy. Emerson famously replied, "If you strike at a king, you must kill him." He supported the Abolitionist movement. At Harvard, he was a member of the Porcellian Club. In the Pudding, he served as Poet, as his father did, he enlisted in the Massachusetts militia in the spring of 1861, when the president first called for volunteers following the firing on Fort Sumter, but returned to Harvard College to participate in commencement exercises.
In the summer of 1861 with his father's help he obtained a lieutenant's commission in the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Holmes's early life was described in detail by Mark DeWolfe Howe, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes – The Shaping Years, 1841–1870. During his senior year of college, at the outset of the American Civil War, Holmes enlisted in the fourth battalion, Massachusetts militia received a commission as first lieutenant in the Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, he saw much action, taking part in the Peninsula Campaign, the Battle of Fredricksburg and the Wilderness, suffering wounds at the Battle of Ball's Bluff and Chancellorsville, suffered from a near-fatal case of dysentery. He admired and was close to Henry Livermore Abbott, a fellow officer in the 20th Massachusetts. Holmes rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, but eschewed promotion in his regiment and served on the staff of the VI Corps during the Wilderness Campaign. Abbott took command of the regiment in his place, was killed.
Holmes is said to have shouted to Abraham Lincoln to take cover during the Battle of Fort Stevens, although this is regarded as apocryphal. Holmes himself expressed uncertainty about who had warned Lincoln and other sources state he was not present on the day Lincoln visited Fort Stevens. Holmes received a brevet promotion to colonel in recognition of his services during the war, he retired to his home in Boston after his three-year enlistment ended in 1864, weary and ill, his regiment disbanded. In the summer of 1864, Holmes returned to the family home in Boston, wrote poetry, debated philosophy with his friend William James, pursuing his debate with philosophic idealism, considered reenlisting, but by the fall, when it became clear that the war would soon end, Holmes
United States Reports
The United States Reports are the official record of the rulings, case tables, in alphabetical order both by the name of the petitioner and by the name of the respondent, other proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States. United States Reports, once printed and bound, are the final version of court opinions and cannot be changed. Opinions of the court in each case are prepended with a headnote prepared by the Reporter of Decisions, any concurring or dissenting opinions are published sequentially; the Court's Publication Office oversees the binding and publication of the volumes of United States Reports, although the actual printing and publication are performed by private firms under contract with the United States Government Publishing Office. For lawyers, citations to United States Reports are the standard reference for Supreme Court decisions. Following The Bluebook, a accepted citation protocol, the case Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, for example, would be cited as: Brown v. Bd. of Educ.
347 U. S. 483. This citation indicates that the decision of the Court in the case entitled Brown v. Board of Education, as abbreviated in Bluebook style, was decided in 1954 and can be found in volume 347 of the United States Reports starting on page 483; the early volumes of the United States Reports were published by the individual Supreme Court Reporters. As was the practice in England, the reports were designated by the names of the reporters who compiled them: Dallas's Reports, Cranch's Reports, etc; the decisions appearing in the entire first volume and most of the second volume of United States Reports are not decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Instead, they are decisions from various Pennsylvania courts, dating from the colonial period and the first decade after Independence. Alexander Dallas, a lawyer and journalist, of Philadelphia, had been in the business of reporting these cases for newspapers and periodicals, he subsequently began compiling his case reports in a bound volume, which he called Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the courts of Pennsylvania and since the Revolution.
This would come to be known as the first volume of Dallas Reports. When the United States Supreme Court, along with the rest of the new Federal Government moved, in 1791, from New York City to the nation's temporary capital in Philadelphia, Dallas was appointed the Supreme Court's first unofficial, unpaid, Supreme Court Reporter. Dallas continued to publish Pennsylvania decisions in a second volume of his Reports; when the Supreme Court began hearing cases, he added those cases to his reports, starting towards the end of the second volume, 2 Dallas Reports, with West v. Barnes. Dallas went on to publish a total of four volumes of decisions during his tenure as Reporter; when the Supreme Court moved to Washington, D. C. in 1800, Dallas remained in Philadelphia, William Cranch took over as unofficial reporter of decisions. In 1817, Congress made the Reporter of Decisions an official, salaried position, although the publication of the Reports remained a private enterprise for the reporter's personal gain.
The reports themselves were the subject of an early copyright case, Wheaton v. Peters, in which former reporter Henry Wheaton sued current reporter Richard Peters for reprinting cases from Wheaton's Reports in abridged form. In 1874, the U. S. government began creating the United States Reports. The earlier, private reports were retroactively numbered volumes 1–90 of the United States Reports, starting from the first volume of Dallas Reports. Therefore, decisions appearing in these early reports have dual citation forms: one for the volume number of the United States Reports. For example, the complete citation to McCulloch v. Maryland is 17 U. S. 316. Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States Lists of United States Supreme Court cases by volume National Reporter System United States Supreme Court: Information About Opinions United States Supreme Court: Bound Volumes – Lists of PDFs Torrents of United States Reports 502–550
Joseph McKenna was an American politician who served in all three branches of the U. S. federal government, as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives, as U. S. Attorney General and as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, he is one of seventeen members of the House of Representatives who subsequently served on the Supreme Court. Born in Philadelphia, the son of Irish Catholic immigrants, he attended St. Joseph's College and the Collegiate Institute at Benicia, California. After being admitted to the California bar in 1865, he became District Attorney for Solano County and campaigned for and won a seat in the California State Assembly for two years, he retired after an unsuccessful bid for Speaker of the House. After two unsuccessful attempts, McKenna was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1885 and served for four terms, he was appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1892 by President Benjamin Harrison. In 1897 he was appointed the 42nd Attorney General of the United States by President William McKinley, served in that capacity until 1898.
He was appointed an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to succeed Justice Stephen J. Field. McKenna took his seat the next day. Conscious of his limited credentials, McKenna took courses at Columbia Law School for several months to improve his legal education before taking his seat on the Court. Although he never developed a consistent legal philosophy, McKenna was the author of a number of important decisions. One of the most notable was his opinion in the case of United States v. U. S. Steel Corporation which held that antitrust cases would be decided on the "rule of reason" principle—only alleged monopolistic combinations that are in unreasonable restraint of trade—are illegal. McKenna was known to be a centrist, was one of the most vigorous members of the Supreme Court, he authored 614 majority opinions, 146 dissenting opinions during his time on the bench. His passionate rebuttal to the denial of "pecuniary benefit" to a wife whose husband had been killed while working on the railroad was among those which brought a change to the Employer Liability Act.
His most noteworthy opinions are Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States 220 U. S. 45, in which a unanimous Court upheld the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, In Hoke v. United States, he concurred in upholding the Mann Act, a/k/a "White-Slave Traffic Act". However, four years he dissented from the Court's opinion in Caminetti v. United States, which held the act applied to private, noncommercial enticements to cross state lines for purposes of a sexual liaison. According to McKenna, the Act regulated only commercial vice, i.e. "immoralities having a mercenary purpose." While McKenna was quite favorable to federal power, he joined the Court's substantive due process jurisprudence and voted with the majority in 1905's Lochner v. New York, which struck down a state maximum-hours law for bakery workers, This decision carried broader implications for the scope of federal power, at least until the New Deal and the 1937 switch-in-time-that-saved-nine West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish. McKenna resigned from the Court in January 1925 at the suggestion of Chief Justice William Howard Taft.
McKenna's ability to perform his duties had been diminished by a stroke suffered 10 years earlier, by the end of his tenure McKenna could not be counted on to write coherent opinions. Justice McKenna was one of 13 Catholic justices in the history of the Supreme Court. McKenna married Amanda Borneman in 1869, the couple had three daughters and one son. McKenna died on November 21, 1926. in Washington, D. C.. His remains are interred at the city's Mount Olivet Cemetery. List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States List of U. S. Supreme Court Justices by time in office United States Supreme Court cases during the Fuller Court United States Supreme Court cases during the Taft Court United States Supreme Court cases during the White Court United States Congress. "Joseph McKenna". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Department of Justice, Joseph McKenna Attorney General. Joseph McKenna at Find a Grave Joseph McKenna at Supreme Court Historical Society.
Official Supreme Court media, Joseph McKenna at the Oyez project
Prima facie is a Latin expression meaning on its first encounter or at first sight. The literal translation would be "at first face" or "at first appearance", from the feminine forms of primus and facies, both in the ablative case. In modern and conversational English, a common translation would be "on the face of it"; the term prima facie is used in modern legal English to signify that upon initial examination, sufficient corroborating evidence appears to exist to support a case. In common law jurisdictions, prima facie denotes evidence that, unless rebutted, would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact; the term is used in academic philosophy. Most legal proceedings, in most jurisdictions, require a prima facie case to exist, following which proceedings may commence to test it, create a ruling. In most legal proceedings, one party has a burden of proof, which requires it to present prima facie evidence for all of the essential facts in its case. If it cannot, its claim may be dismissed without any need for a response by other parties.
A prima facie case might not fall on its own. Sometimes the introduction of prima facie evidence is informally called making a case or building a case. For example, in a trial under criminal law the prosecution has the burden of presenting prima facie evidence of each element of the crime charged against the defendant. In a murder case, this would include evidence that the victim was in fact dead, that the defendant's act caused the death, evidence that the defendant acted with malice aforethought. If no party introduces new evidence, the case stands or falls just by the prima facie evidence or lack thereof. Prima facie evidence does not need to be conclusive or irrefutable: at this stage, evidence rebutting the case is not considered, only whether any party's case has enough merit to take it to a full trial. In common law jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom and the United States, the prosecution in a criminal trial must disclose all evidence to the defense; this includes the prima facie evidence.
An aim of the doctrine of prima facie is to prevent litigants from bringing spurious charges which waste all other parties' time. Prima facie is confused with res ipsa loquitur, the common law doctrine that when the facts make it self-evident that negligence or other responsibility lies with a party, it is not necessary to provide extraneous details, since any reasonable person would find the facts of the case; the difference between the two is that prima facie is a term meaning there is enough evidence for there to be a case to answer, while Res ipsa loquitur means that the facts are so obvious a party does not need to explain any more. For example: "There is a prima facie case that the defendant is liable, they controlled the pump. The pump was flooded the plaintiff's house; the plaintiff had left the house in the control of the defendant. Res ipsa loquitur." This doctrine has been subsumed by general negligence law in Canadian tort law. The phrase is used in academic philosophy. Among its most notable uses is in the theory of ethics first proposed by W. D. Ross called the Ethic of Prima Facie Duties, as well as in epistemology, as used, for example, by Robert Audi.
It is used in reference to an obligation. "I have a prima facie obligation to keep my promise and meet my friend" means that I am under an obligation, but this may yield to a more pressing duty. A more modern usage prefers the title pro tanto obligation: an obligation that may be overruled by another more pressing one; the phrase prima facie is sometimes misspelled prima facia in the mistaken belief that facia is the actual Latin word. In policy debate theory, prima facie is used to describe the mandates or planks of an affirmative case, or, in some rare cases, a negative counterplan; when the negative team appeals to prima facie, it appeals to the fact that the affirmative team cannot add or amend anything in its plan after being stated in the first affirmative constructive. A common usage of the phrase is the concept of a "prima facie speed limit", used in Australia and the United States. A prima facie speed limit is a default speed limit that applies when no other specific speed limit is posted, may be exceeded by a driver.
However, if the driver is detected, cited by police for exceeding the limit, the onus of proof is on the driver, to show that the speed at which the driver was travelling was safe under the circumstances. In most jurisdictions, this type of speed limit has been replaced by absolute speed limits. Defeasible reasoning List of Latin phrases Probable cause Proximate cause Pseudologia fantastica Herlitz, Georg Nils. "The meaning of the term prima facie". Louisiana Law Review. 55: 391. Audi, Robert. Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction. Routledge. P. 27
Peon refers to a person subject to peonage: any form of unfree labour or wage labor in which a laborer has little control over employment conditions. Peon and peonage can refer to the colonial period in Latin America and other countries colonized by Spain as well as the period after U. S. Civil War when "Black Codes" were passed to maintain chattel slavery through other means; the word peon has a variety of related, less formal uses. In English and peonage have meanings related to their Spanish etymology, as well as a variety of other usages. In addition to the meaning of forced labourer, a peon may be a person with little authority assigned unskilled tasks. In this sense, peon can be used in either a self-effacing context. However, the term has a historical basis and usage related to much more severe conditions of forced labour. American English: in a historical and legal sense, peon referred to someone working in an unfree labor system; the word implied debt bondage or indentured servitude. There are other usages in contemporary cultures: English language varieties spoken in South Asian countries: a peon is an office boy, an attendant, or an orderly, a person kept around for odd jobs.
Shanghai: among native Chinese working in firms where English is spoken, the word has been phonetically reinterpreted as "pee-on", refers to a worker with little authority, who suffers indignities from superiors. Financial trading slang: a peon is a market participant who trades in small quantities or a small account; the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Caribbean islands included peonage. Peonage was prevalent in Latin America in the countries of Mexico, Guatemala and Peru, it remains an important part of social life, as among the Urarina of the Peruvian Amazon. After the American Civil War of 1861–1865, peonage developed in the Southern United States. Poor white farmers and enslaved African Americans known as freedmen, who could not afford their own land, would farm another person's land, exchanging labor for a share of the crops; this was called sharecropping and the benefits were mutual. The land owner would pay for the seeds and tools in exchange for a percentage of the money earned from the crop and a portion of the crop.
As time passed, many landowners began to abuse this system. The landowner would force the tenant farmer or sharecropper to buy seeds and tools from the land owner's store, which had inflated prices; as sharecroppers were illiterate, they had to depend on the books and accounting by the landowner and his staff. Other tactics included debiting expenses against the sharecropper's profits after the crop was harvested and "miscalculating" the net profit from the harvest, thereby keeping the sharecropper in perpetual debt to the landowner. Since the tenant farmers could not offset the costs, they were forced into involuntary labor due to the debts they owed the landowner. Additionally, unpredictable or disruptive climatic conditions such as droughts or storms, caused disruptions to seasonal plantings or harvests, which in turn, caused the tenant farmers to accrue debts with the landowners. After the U. S. Civil War, the South passed "Black Codes", laws to control freed black slaves. Vagrancy laws were included in these Black Codes.
Homeless or unemployed African Americans who were between jobs, most of whom were former slaves, were arrested and fined as vagrants. Lacking the resources to pay the fine, the "vagrant" was sent to county labor or hired out under the convict lease program to a private employer; the authorities tried to restrict the movement of freedmen between rural areas and cities, to between towns. Under such laws, local officials arbitrarily arrested tens of thousands of freedmen and charged them with fines and court costs of their cases. White merchants and business owners were allowed to pay these debts, the prisoner had to work off the debt. Prisoners were leased as laborers to owners and operators of coal mines, lumber camps, railroads and farm plantations, with the lease revenues for their labor going to the states; the lessors were responsible for room and board of the laborers, abused them with little oversight by the state. Government officials leased imprisoned blacks and whites to small town entrepreneurs, provincial farmers, dozens of corporations looking for cheap labor.
Their labor was bought and sold for decades, well into the 20th century, long after the official abolition of American slavery. Southern states and private businesses profited by this unpaid labour, it is estimated that at the beginning of the 20th century, up to 40% of blacks in the South were trapped in peonage. Overseers and owners used severe physical deprivation, beatings and other abuse as "discipline" against the workers. After the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment prohibited involuntary servitude such as peonage for all but convicted criminals. Congress passed various laws to protect the constitutional rights of Southern blacks, making those who violated such rights by conspiracy, by trespass, or in disguise, guilty of an offense punishable by ten years in prison and civil disability. Unlawful use of state law to subvert rights under the Federal Constitution was made punishab
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U. S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors, it has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction; the court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about one hundred to one hundred fifty of the more than seven thousand cases that it is asked to review.
According to federal statute, the court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, all of whom are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have lifetime tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed from office; each justice has a single vote in deciding. When the chief justice is in the majority, he decides. In modern discourse, justices are categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. While a far greater number of cases in recent history have been decided unanimously, decisions in cases of the highest profile have come down to just one single vote, exemplifying the justices' alignment according to these categories; the Court meets in the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D. C, its law enforcement arm is the Supreme Court of the United States Police. It was while debating the division of powers between the legislative and executive departments that delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention established the parameters for the national judiciary.
Creating a "third branch" of government was a novel idea. Early on, some delegates argued that national laws could be enforced by state courts, while others, including James Madison, advocated for a national judicial authority consisting of various tribunals chosen by the national legislature, it was proposed that the judiciary should have a role in checking the executive power to veto or revise laws. In the end, the Framers compromised by sketching only a general outline of the judiciary, vesting federal judicial power in "one supreme Court, in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish", they delineated neither the exact powers and prerogatives of the Supreme Court nor the organization of the Template:Judicial branch as a whole. The 1st United States Congress provided the detailed organization of a federal judiciary through the Judiciary Act of 1789; the Supreme Court, the country's highest judicial tribunal, was to sit in the nation's Capital and would be composed of a chief justice and five associate justices.
The act divided the country into judicial districts, which were in turn organized into circuits. Justices were required to "ride circuit" and hold circuit court twice a year in their assigned judicial district. After signing the act into law, President George Washington nominated the following people to serve on the court: John Jay for chief justice and John Rutledge, William Cushing, Robert H. Harrison, James Wilson, John Blair Jr. as associate justices. All six were confirmed by the Senate on September 26, 1789. Harrison, declined to serve. In his place, Washington nominated James Iredell; the Supreme Court held its inaugural session from February 2 through February 10, 1790, at the Royal Exchange in New York City the U. S. capital. A second session was held there in August 1790; the earliest sessions of the court were devoted to organizational proceedings, as the first cases did not reach it until 1791. When the national capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790, the Supreme Court did so as well.
After meeting at Independence Hall, the Court established its chambers at City Hall. Under Chief Justices Jay and Ellsworth, the Court heard few cases; as the Court had only six members, every decision that it made by a majority was made by two-thirds. However, Congress has always allowed less than the court's full membership to make decisions, starting with a quorum of four justices in 1789; the court lacked a home of its own and had little prestige, a situation not helped by the era's highest-profile case, Chisholm v. Georgia, reversed within two years by the adoption of the Eleventh Amendment; the court's power and prestige grew during the Marshall Court. Under Marshall, the court established the power of judicial review over acts of Congress, including specifying itself as the supreme expositor of the Constitution and making several important constitutional rulings that gave shape and substance to the balance of power between the federal government and states; the Marshall Court ended the practice of each justice issuin
Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes Sr. was an American statesman, Republican Party politician, the 11th Chief Justice of the United States. He was the 36th Governor of New York, the Republican presidential nominee in the 1916 presidential election, the 44th United States Secretary of State. Born to a Welsh immigrant preacher and his wife in Glens Falls, New York, Hughes pursued a legal career in New York City. After working in private practice for several years, in 1905 he led successful state investigations into public utilities and the life insurance industry, he implemented several progressive reforms. In 1910, President William Howard Taft appointed Hughes as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. During his tenure on the Supreme Court, Hughes joined Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in voting to uphold state and federal regulations. Hughes served as an Associate Justice until 1916, when he resigned from the bench to accept the Republican presidential nomination. Though Hughes was viewed as the favorite in the race against incumbent Democratic President Woodrow Wilson, Wilson won a narrow victory.
After Warren G. Harding won the 1920 presidential election, Hughes accepted Harding's offer to serve as Secretary of State. Serving under Harding and Calvin Coolidge, Hughes negotiated the Washington Naval Treaty, designed to prevent a naval arms race among the United States and Japan. Hughes left office in 1925 and returned to private practice, becoming one of the most prominent attorneys in the country. In 1930, President Herbert Hoover appointed Hughes to succeed Chief Justice Taft. Along with Associate Justice Owen Roberts, Hughes emerged as a key swing vote on the bench, positioned between the liberal Three Musketeers and the conservative Four Horsemen; the Hughes Court struck down several New Deal programs in the early and the mid-1930s, but 1937 marked a turning point for the Supreme Court and the New Deal as Hughes and Roberts joined with the Three Musketeers to uphold the Wagner Act and a state minimum wage law. That same year saw the defeat of the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, which would have expanded the size of the Supreme Court.
Hughes served until 1941, when he was succeeded by Associate Justice Harlan F. Stone. Hughes's father, David Charles Hughes, migrated from Wales to the United States in 1855 after he was inspired by the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. David became a Baptist preacher in Glens Falls, New York, married Mary Catherine Connelly, whose family had been in the United States for several generations. Charles Evans Hughes, the only child of David and Mary, was born in Glens Falls on April 11, 1862; the Hughes family moved to Oswego, New York in 1866, but relocated soon after to Newark, New Jersey and to Brooklyn. With the exception of a brief period of attendance at Newark High School, Hughes received no formal education until 1874, instead being educated by his parents. In September 1874, he enrolled in New York City's prestigious Public School 35, graduating the following year. At the age of 14, he enrolled at Madison University transferred to Brown University, he graduated third in his class at the age of 19, having been elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year.
During his time at Brown, Hughes volunteered for the successful presidential campaign of Republican nominee James A. Garfield and served as the editor of the college newspaper. After graduating from Brown, Hughes spent a year working as a teacher in New York. Hughes next enrolled in Columbia Law School, he passed the New York bar exam in 1884, with the highest score awarded by the state. In 1888, Hughes married Antoinette Carter, the daughter of the senior partner of the law firm where he worked, their first child, Charles Evans Hughes Jr. was born the following year, Hughes purchased a house in Manhattan's Upper West Side neighborhood. Hughes and his wife would have three daughters, their youngest child, Elizabeth Hughes Gossett, was one of the first humans injected with insulin, served as president of the Supreme Court Historical Society. Hughes took a position with the Wall Street law firm of Chamberlain, Carter & Hornblower in 1883, focusing on matters related to contracts and bankruptcies.
He was made a partner in the firm in 1888, the firm changed its name to Carter, Hughes & Cravath. Hughes left the firm and became a professor at Cornell Law School from 1891 to 1893, he returned to Carter, Hughes & Cravath in 1893. He joined the board of Brown University and served on a special committee that recommended revisions to New York's Code of Civil Procedure. Responding to newspaper stories run by the New York World, Governor Frank W. Higgins appointed a legislative committee to investigate the state's public utilities in 1905. On the recommendation of a former state judge, impressed by Hughes's performance in court, the legislative committee appointed Hughes to lead the investigation. Hughes was reluctant to take on the powerful utility companies, but Senator Frederick C. Stevens, the leader of the committee, convinced Hughes to accept the position. Hughes decided to center his investigation on Consolidated Gas, which controlled the production and sale of gas in New York City. Though few expected the committee to have any impact on public corruption, Hughes was able to show that Consolidated Gas had engaged in a pattern of tax evasion and fraudulent bookkeeping.
To eliminate or mitigate those abuses, Hughes drafted and convinced the state legislature to pass bills that established a commission to regulate public utilities and lowered