Friday, September 26, 2014

Davies on Modest Melville Fuller

Ross E. Davies, George Mason University School of Law, has posted Fixing Fuller's Record: The Green Bag and the U.S. Reports, which appears in Green Bag 2d,, 17 (Summer 2014): 451-64.  Here is the abstract:    
CJ Melville Fuller (LC)
Melville Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States from 1888 to 1910, had a notably "self-effacing nature." Perhaps that is why he did not always push hard to correct errors about himself that appeared in published reports. In retrospect, this seems admirably modest in some contexts and disturbingly irresponsible in others. This article deals first with an example Fuller’s admirable modesty, which it overcomes for the benefit of modern readers. Second, this article examines an instance of Fuller’s converse irresponsibility, and suggests that the Supreme Court can and should officially correct Fuller’s error.