McReynolds, James Clark
(1862-1946)
   James McReynolds graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1882 and the University of Virginia Law School in 1884. He established a law practice in Nashville, Tennessee, where he became a leading member of the legal, political, and social establishment. In 1903, McReynolds was hired by the Justice Department and was the chief prosecutor of the American Tobacco Trust. He resigned in 1911 but in 1913 was appointed attorney general by President Woodrow Wilson. He was again responsible for filing several major antitrust suits. In 1914, Wilson nominated McReynolds to serve on the Supreme Court. McReynolds did not play a particularly significant role on the court until the 1930s when he became a persistent critic of Franklin D. Roosevelt and an opponent of the extension of federal power under the New Deal. He spoke out angrily against the president following the attempted “court packing” in 1937 but increasingly found himself in a minority as the nature of the court changed. Critics regarded McReynolds as one of the worst and most conservative justices to serve on the court. In 1941, he retired in despair following Roosevelt’s third election victory.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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  • McReynolds — /meuhk ren ldz/, n. James Clark, 1862 1946, U.S. jurist: associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1914 41. * * * …   Universalium

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