Maysville Kentucky Blog

The Maysville Kentucky Blog is your guide to the beautiful and historic small town of Maysville Kentucky, snuggled into the rolling hills along the Ohio River. Though this blog has been discontinued, you can get your Maysville Kentucky fix over at Ken Downing's Mason County Kentucky Blog @

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Stanley Reed: Supreme Court Justice From Maysville

Stanley F. Reed (1884 -1980), at the time of his death, was the longest lived Supreme Court Justice in American history. He lived in Maysville Kentucky before heading off to the University of Virginia to study law. He also studied law at Columbia University and later in France, but strangely he never actually obtained a law degree. In fact, he was the last person to serve as a Supreme Court Justice without possessing a law degree.

After studying abroad, he returned to Maysville to practice law. His reputation soon spread to other states, so much so that the Hoover Administration tapped him for government as counsel for the Federal Farm Board in 1929 and later as counsel for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1932. President Roosevelt appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1935, where he presented the government arguments for numerous "New Deal" cases. Reed was generally considered a moderate and often held the balance between the liberal and the conservative members of the court in split decisions.

From the Supreme Court Historical Society:

As Stanley Reed never forgot Kentucky, neither did Kentucky forget him. He was invited back to speak at county fairs and on other occasions. In 1957 Maysville observed Stanley Reed Day and renamed in his honor the street where he once had his law office. Chief Justice Warren and Justice Sherman Minton attended those festivities. At his death his hometown newspaper wrote that "we here who knew him as a fellow townsmen feel that the Nation was the richer for his shining integrity, the depth of his wisdom, and his profundity of knowledge."

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