PRESIDENT WILLIAM H. TAFT - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 02/06/1891 - HFSID 30815
WILLIAM H. TAFT
The 33-year-old U.S. Solicitor General writes of a case before the Supreme Court.
Typed Letter Signed: "Wm H. Taft" as U.S. Solicitor General, 2p, 8x10, separate sheets. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., 1891 February 6. Headed: "Supreme Court of the United States./Ex Parte Cooper, No. 9 Original." To Calderon Carlisle, Esq., Of Counsel for Thomas Henry Cooper, and the Attorney General of Canada. In full: "I beg to acknowledge the receipt from you of two duplicate certified copies of the order of the Supreme Court directing that a rule issue to the Judge of the District Court of Alaska to show cause why the writ of prohibition should not go against him, commanding him not to proceed further in the enforcement of the sentence of condemnation against the schooner 'Sayward.' Upon the face of one of these copies service has been acknowledged on behalf of the libellant, the United States. This one, after the District Judge has also written an acknowledgment of service upon it, will be returned to this Department and immediately forwarded to you. I beg also to acknowledge receipt of a third duplicate certified copy of the order, for use in this Department." William Howard Taft, appointed by President Benjamin Harrison, served as U.S. Solicitor General from February 4, 1890 until he became Judge of the U.S. Federal Circuit Court on March 17, 1892. The Solicitor General is the only officer of the United States required by statute to be "learned in the law", and is one of only two people (the other being the Vice President) with formal offices in two branches of government (Solicitor General: Executive and Judicial; Vice President: Executive and Legislative). The main responsibility of the office is to represent the government in the Supreme Court, determining the cases in which Supreme Court review will be sought and the position the government will take in each. Ironically, with respect to the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General has often been called "the Tenth Justice". Taft, who would ultimately become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, won 18 of his 20 cases as Solicitor General. Staple holes in upper left blank corner. Lightly creased, three file nicks at blank left edge. Signature is damp stained. Overall, fine condition.
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