Charles Evans Hughes

Charles Evans Hughes Sr. (April 11, 1862 – August 27, 1948) was an American statesman, politician, academic, and jurist who served as the 11th chief justice of the United States from 1930 to 1941. A member of the Republican Party, he previously was the 36th governor of New York (1907–1910), an associate justice of the Supreme Court (1910–1916), and 44th U.S. secretary of state (1921–1925). As the Republican nominee in the 1916 presidential election, he lost narrowly to Woodrow Wilson.

Born to a Welsh immigrant preacher and his wife in Glens Falls, New York, Hughes graduated from Brown University and Columbia Law School and practiced law in New York City. After working in private practice for several years, in 1905 he led successful state investigations into public utilities and the life insurance industry. He won election as the governor of New York in 1906, and implemented several progressive reforms. In 1910, President William Howard Taft appointed Hughes as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. During his tenure on the Supreme Court, Hughes often joined Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in voting to uphold state and federal regulations.

Hughes served as an associate justice until 1916, when he resigned from the bench to accept the Republican presidential nomination. Though Hughes was widely viewed as the favorite in the race against incumbent Democratic President Woodrow Wilson, Wilson won a narrow victory. After Warren G. Harding won the 1920 presidential election, Hughes accepted Harding's invitation to serve as secretary of state. Serving under Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he negotiated the Washington Naval Treaty, which was designed to prevent a naval arms race among the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. Hughes left office in 1925 and returned to private practice, becoming one of the most prominent attorneys in the country.

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover appointed him to succeed Chief Justice Taft. Along with Associate Justice Owen Roberts, Hughes emerged as a key swing vote on the bench, positioned between the liberal Three Musketeers and the conservative Four Horsemen. The Hughes Court struck down several New Deal programs in the early and the mid-1930s, but 1937 marked a turning point for the Supreme Court and the New Deal as Hughes and Roberts joined with the Three Musketeers to uphold the Wagner Act and a state minimum wage law. That same year saw the defeat of the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, which would have expanded the size of the Supreme Court. Hughes served until 1941, when he retired and was succeeded by Associate Justice Harlan F. Stone. Provided by Wikipedia