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February 10, 1922|
Lockesburg, Arkansas, U.S.
March 1, 1994 (aged 72)|
near Little Rock, Arkansas,
University of Arkansas, Little|
University of Arkansas,
Herschel Hugar Friday (February 10, 1922 – March 1, 1994) was an Arkansas bond lawyer whom President Richard Nixon considered appointing to the United States Supreme Court. After the American Bar Association felt Friday's nomination was too controversial due to his firm's representation of the Little Rock School District throughout the 1957 Central High School Crisis, Nixon nominated Lewis Powell instead.
During Nixon's first term, three associate justices resigned from the Supreme Court. The first vacancy was created by the resignation of Abe Fortas. The United States Senate rejected Nixon's first two nominees for that vacancy, Clement F. Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell. Nixon then nominated Harry A. Blackmun, who was confirmed.
Justices John Harlan and Hugo Black announced their retirements in 1971. In spite of the rejections of Haynsworth and Carswell, Nixon strongly considered nominating Friday and California state Appeals Judge Mildred Lillie to the high court. Friday was a former member of the American Bar Association Board of Delegates; Lillie was a judge on an intermediate state appellate court in California. After the American Bar Association rated both Friday and Lillie as "not qualified," Nixon instead nominated Lewis Powell and William H. Rehnquist, both of whom were successfully confirmed.
Friday returned to his Arkansas law firm, Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP, one of the oldest, largest, and long-standing law firms in the state. Friday would later be a benefactor of Governor and President Bill Clinton. Friday died on March 1, 1994 in an aviation accident.