The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 248
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
rarely before that Court. I suspect, too, he is an interior coun-
try lawyer, wholly unversed in the Federal jurisprudence. Fed-
eral laws, jurisdiction, etc., is a specialty. A man may be an able
State lawyer, and know less about them than he does the laws of
a distant country. I hope he possess all the requisites. I hope
he is not a political appointment. That it is not his being candi-
date for Vice President with Douglass, his political prestige, which
constitute the real and true elements of his choice.
I had felt strong assurance that the President would govern
himself by the highest professional standard, that he would look
first and last to Lawyers, and that the day was gone that old
Politicians would be rewarded with judicial place. I confess to
a jealousy against the political element in the control of selec-
tions for the Bench. Of all men, it stands to analogy from his
other acts that the President for the Bench would give weight,
and weight alone, to legal qualifications. I trust this will prove
so, and that Judge Johnson's qualifications are far more dis-
tinguished than I have any conjecture of.
The article in the Republican says Johnson is sixty-five. He
is probably more. The U. S. law provides, that a Judge, who
after twenty years' service, at the age of seventy, retires from
the Bench, shall do so on full pay. This is in accordance with
a public policy that he should retire at seventy, to induce him to
vacate the Bench at that age, when much the greatest proportion
of men have lost their power for constant and hard labor. The
appointment of a judge of sixty-five does not seem to me the
most judicious. It is an inducement to him "to lag superfluous
on the stage."
If an old man, an old Democrat, is to be appointed, my own
conviction is the very strongest, that John A. Campbell is a far
better appointment. His eminence as a jurist is conceded. He
would be named First, of all Southern Lawyers. He is venerated
by the Bar and by the People. He was on the Bench; he had
all the judicial elements well mixed in him. True, he left the
Bench to go into Secession. But it is known that all his in-
fluence was against Secession, and that he did it most reluctantly
Whilst you know my own hostility to Secession, and that I
never regarded the action of the State as of any more constitu-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/254/: accessed March 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.