William Cather Hook

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
William Cather Hook
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
In office
November 17, 1903 – August 11, 1921
Appointed byTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byHenry Clay Caldwell
Succeeded byRobert E. Lewis
Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Eighth Circuit
In office
November 17, 1903 – December 31, 1911
Appointed byTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byHenry Clay Caldwell
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas
In office
January 31, 1899 – December 1, 1903
Appointed byWilliam McKinley
Preceded byCassius Gaius Foster
Succeeded byJohn Calvin Pollock
Personal details
Born
William Cather Hook

(1857-09-24)September 24, 1857
Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
DiedAugust 11, 1921(1921-08-11) (aged 63)
Sayner, Wisconsin
EducationWashington University School of Law (LL.B.)

William Cather Hook (September 24, 1857 – August 11, 1921) was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and of the United States Circuit Courts for the Eighth Circuit and previously was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

Education and career[edit]

Born on September 24, 1857, in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, Hook received a Bachelor of Laws in 1878 from the Washington University School of Law. He entered private practice in Leavenworth, Kansas from 1878 to 1899. He was city attorney for Leavenworth. He was city legal adviser for Leavenworth from 1889 to 1895.[1]

Federal judicial service[edit]

District Court service[edit]

Hook was nominated by President William McKinley on January 28, 1899, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Kansas vacated by Judge Cassius Gaius Foster. Hook's nomination was opposed by railroad companies, who were displeased that Hook had successfully won judgments against them while in private practice.[2] Nevertheless, he was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 31, 1899, and received his commission the same day. His service terminated on December 1, 1903, due to his elevation to the Eighth Circuit.[1]

Court of Appeals service[edit]

Hook was nominated by President Theodore Roosevelt on November 10, 1903, to a joint seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the United States Circuit Courts for the Eighth Circuit vacated by Judge Henry Clay Caldwell. He was confirmed by the Senate on November 17, 1903, and received his commission the same day. On December 31, 1911, the Circuit Courts were abolished and he thereafter served only on the Court of Appeals. His service terminated on August 11, 1921, due to his death in Sayner, Wisconsin.[1]

Failed consideration for the Supreme Court[edit]

On February 6, 1912, President William Howard Taft announced that he would nominate Hook to fill the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court that had been caused by the death of Justice John Marshall Harlan. Opposition was raised, however, by leaders of the NAACP, the Washington Bee, and other African-American newspapers and organizations. Concerned parties discussed 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.[3] The railroad interests also continued their opposition to Hook, as did large corporations displeased with his rulings in antitrust cases.[2] A prominent critic of the nomination was Governor of Nebraska Chester Hardy Aldrich.[2] Mahlon Pitney was selected by the President in place of Hook.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c William Cather Hook at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ a b c The Literary Digest, Vol. 44 (January 20, 1912), p. 103.
  3. ^ "Drops Judge Hook; May Name Nagel", New York Times, February 8, 1912
  4. ^ NAACP: Celebrating a Century : 100 Years in Pictures (Gibbs Smith, 2009) p77

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Cassius Gaius Foster
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas
1899–1903
Succeeded by
John Calvin Pollock
Preceded by
Henry Clay Caldwell
Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Eighth Circuit
1903–1911
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
Henry Clay Caldwell
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
1903–1921
Succeeded by
Robert E. Lewis