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Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition

Who Was Sherman Minton?

Sherman Minton '15 served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Justice from 1949 to 1956. Though his service on the highest court was shortened owing to ill health, his tenure on the Court saw some of our nation's most important post-war cases, including Brown v. Board of Education and Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer.

Sherman Minton was born in 1890 in New Albany (although some accounts place his birth at Georgetown, Indiana). He attended the first high school in Indiana and earned his J.D. from our Law School in 1915, and an L.L.M the following year from Yale. He proudly served as a captain in the United States Army, Motor Transport Corps overseas during World War I. After the war Minton returned to his home state, where he practiced law for several years. In 1934 he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate, where he represented Indiana for one term. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Minton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at the end of that term in 1940, and he served until he was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1949. He remained a member of the Army Reserves until 1943, throughout the Great Depression and his service in the Senate.

He was confirmed to the nation's high court with a Senate vote of 48-16, despite not appearing at his confirmation hearings. Justice Minton was noted for his broad view of government powers and for his abhorrence of racial segregation, which he voted to strike down in Brown v. Board of Education. He retired from the Court in 1956 on account of health problems, including the effects of pernicious anemia; he died in 1965. Upon retirement, the humble Justice Minton observed: "There will be more interest in who will succeed me than in my passing. I'm an echo."

But Sherman Minton is more than an echo. The man described as likeable, witty and popular is remembered in numerous ways by his home state, including a bridge in his honor on I-64 connecting Louisville, Kentucky with his hometown of New Albany.

The Moot Court Board and Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington are proud to honor the life and career of Associate Justice Sherman Minton. Justice Minton: Indiana native, army veteran, jurist, and Indiana Law alumnus.