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Failing Justice: Charles Evans Whittaker On The Supreme Court

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By Craig Alan Smith

In the history of the U.S. Supreme Court, Associate Justice Charles Evans Whittaker (1957–1962) merited several distinctions. He was the only Missourian and the first native Kansan appointed to the Court. He was one of only two justices to have served at both the federal district and appeals court levels before ascending to the Supreme Court. And Court historians have routinely rated him a failure as a justice. This book is a reconsideration of Justice Whittaker, with the twin goals of giving him his due and correcting past misrepresentations of the man and his career. Based on primary sources and information from the Whittaker family, it demonstrates that Whittaker’s life record is definitely not one of inadequacy or failure, but rather one of illness and difficulty overcome with great determination. Nine appendices document all aspects of Whittaker’s career. Copious notes, a selected bibliography, and two indexes complete a work that challenges the historical assessment of this public servant from Missouri.