William Cather Hook

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William Cather Hook
Personal details
Born (1857-09-24)September 24, 1857
Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died August 11, 1921(1921-08-11) (aged 63)
Alma mater Washington University School of Law LL.B.

William Cather Hook (September 24, 1857 – August 11, 1921) was a United States federal judge.

Born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, Hook received an LL.B. from Washington University School of Law in 1878. He was in private practice in Leavenworth, Kansas from 1878 to 1899. He was a city attorney and legal advisor of Leavenworth from 1889 to 1895.

On January 28, 1899, Hook was nominated by President William McKinley to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Kansas vacated by Cassius G. Foster. Hook was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 31, 1899, and received his commission the same day.

On November 10, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Hook for elevation to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit vacated by Henry Clay Caldwell. Hook was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 17, 1903, and received his commission the same day.

On February 6, 1912, President William H. Taft announced that he would nominate Hook to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court that had been caused by the death of John Marshall Harlan. Opposition was raised by leaders of the NAACP, the Washington Bee, and other African-American newspapers and organizations, however, because of Hook's decision in upholding the constitutionality of an Oklahoma Jim Crow law discriminating against African American passengers on trains crossing the state line between Kansas and Oklahoma.[1] Mahlon Pitney was selected by the President in place of Hook.[2]

After his failed appointment, Hook remained a federal appellate judge until his death in August 1921.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Drops Judge Hook; May Name Nagel", New York Times, February 8, 1912
  2. ^ NAACP: Celebrating a Century : 100 Years in Pictures (Gibbs Smith, 2009) p77