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Born in Dublin, Arkansas, Ragon attended the common schools, the Clarksville High School, the College of the Ozarks (now University of the Ozarks), Clarksville, Arkansas, and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He graduated from the law department of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia. He was admitted to the bar in 1908 and commenced practice in Clarksville, Arkansas. He served as member of the State house of representatives 1911-1913. He served as district attorney 1916-1920. Secretary of the Democratic State convention in 1918. He served as chairman of the Democratic State convention in 1920. He served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1920.
Ragon was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-eighth and to the five succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1923, until his resignation effective June 16, 1933, having been appointed judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas on May 12, 1933, in which capacity he served until his death in Fort Smith, Arkansas, September 15, 1940. He was interred in Forest Park Cemetery.
In 1939, Judge Ragon authored an opinion in United States v. Miller, 26 F. Supp. 1002, stating that a federal statute violated the Second Amendment. Ragon was in reality, in favor of the gun control law and was part of an elaborate plan to give the government a sure win when they appealed to the supreme court which they promptly did. Miller, who was a known bank robber, had just testified in court against his whole gang and would have to go into hiding as soon as he was released. Ragon knew that Miller would not pay for an attorney to argue the case at the supreme court and so the government would have a sure win because the other side would not show up. The plan worked perfectly. see:http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/ECM_PRO_060964.pdf
His opinion was reversed by the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Miller.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|United States House of Representatives|
Henderson M. Jacoway
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 5th congressional district
March 4, 1923 – June 16, 1933