Charles Evans Hughes, Sr.

Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. (April 11, 1862 – August 27, 1948) was an American attorney, statesman, and politician. He was 36th Governor of New York (1907–1910), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1910–1916), United States Secretary of State (1921–1925), a judge on the Court of International Justice (1928–1930), and the 11th Chief Justice of the United States (1930–1941). Mr. Hughes, a key leader in the American Progressive Movement, was Republican nominee in the 1916 U.S. Presidential election, losing to President Woodrow Wilson. He was father to Charles Evan Hughes, Jr. 


Charles Evans Hughes, Jr.

Charles Evans Hughes, Jr. was the United States Solicitor General in 1929-1930. An honor graduate of Brown University, he attended the Harvard Law School. He was editor of Harvard Law Review, graduating in 1912. In the United States Army, he served as an aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Pelham D. Glassford. 

Subsequently, he practiced law Carter, Hughes & Cravath, now Hughes Hubbard & Reed. He was appointed Solicitor General by President Herbert Hoover. Judge Learned Hand once said Charles Evans Hughes, Sr., was the greatest lawyer he had ever known, "except that his son was even greater."


Claude Raymond Branch served as Special Assistant to Mr. Hughes Jr. during his term as Solicitor General. 


The Progressive Era

The Progressive Era in the United States was a time of significant political and social change. This period ran from the 1890's through the 1920's. Key to the movement was elimination of corruption, in support of attaining a more genuine democracy. 

Progressives initially worked at local levels, further expanding the movement into state and national levels. No field seemed absent the movement; churches, finance, medicine and industry writ large were all involved. 

Of note, it was not only removal of corruption that Progressivism sought. Inner city and rural reform, environmentalism  and women's suffrage were intrinsic to the era.  

Herbert Hoover was elected President in 1930. Prior to assuming office, President Hoover was known for his humanitarian efforts in Europe. He strongly advocated efficiency in government and volunteerism.

In 1930, President Hoover appointed Charles Evans Hughes as Supreme Court Justice. Mr. Hughes, an otherwise conservative Republican, was among the national leaders of American Progressive movement. 

A Lifelong Relationship


Zechariah Chafee

Zechariah Chafee, Jr. (December 7, 1885 – February 8, 1957), was Professor of Law, judicial philosopher and civil rights advocate. Serving for 40 years on the faculty of Harvard Law School, he was lifelong friends with Claude Branch, who encouraged Chafee in his early years to study the law. 


Blockburger v. The United States

Harry Blockburger was convicted of violating certain provisions of the Harrison Anti-Narcotic Act. To review a judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals [50 F.(2d) 795], affirming the judgment of conviction, the defendant brings certiorari (judicial review). 

Judgment affirmed. [284 U.S. 299, 300]  Mr. Harold J. Bandy, of Granite City, Ill., for petitioner.

The Attorney General and Mr. Claude R. Branch, of Providence, RI, for the United States. Mr. Justice SUTHERLAND, pictured at left,  delivered the opinion of the Court.


McBoyle v. The United States

Mr. Claude R. Branch, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, with whom Solicitor General Thacher, Assistant Attorney General Dodds and Messrs. Harry S. Ridgely and W. Marvin Smith were on the brief, for the

United States.  Mr. Justice HOLMES, pictured at right, delivered the opinion of the Court.