SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 20

MONTGOMERYBAR.ORG

SIDEBAR FEATURE

THE HONORABLE WILLIAM H. HASTIE:

A MONOGRAPH
By Joseph Hylan, Esq.

[To Gigi, my wife]

"Bill Hastie should have been on the Supreme
Court...He is a great man...much better than I
am. His opinions are among the best ever read."
-Justice Thurgood Marshall

O

n the afternoon of April 14, 1976, the Honorable
William H. Hastie, a resident of Montgomery County
and the first African-American to serve on the United
States Court of Appeals, collapsed while playing a round of golf at
the Center Square Golf Club in Whitpain Township. Evacuated by
ambulance to Suburban General Hospital, Hastie was pronounced
dead of a heart attack. It was an unremarkable death for a man
whose life was anything but.
If Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes had the most significant
impact on American law in the 20th Century from the bench,
then an elite cadre of African American lawyers had an equally
significant impact on American law from the bar. Hastie was
one of the single-minded lawyers whose advocacy - poised,
professional, principled, and persuasive - planned and executed the
systematic demolition of segregation and Jim Crow in the United
States. Led by Thurgood Marshall who would win twenty-nine of
thirty-two cases in the United States Supreme Court, Hastie and
his colleagues slowly, carefully, but irreversibly altered the sweep
and scope of constitutional jurisprudence in the areas of race and
racial equality. If the incandescent Marshall was a rocket, then the
modest, understated Hastie was the steady blue flame of a pilot
light. While Hastie never received the accolades and publicity
showered on Marshall, Hastie's meticulous legal scholarship earned
him a succession of federal appointments culminating with the
President-Judgeship of the United States Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit.
The son of a clerk in the United States Bureau of Pensions with
a degree in pharmacology from Ohio Wesleyan University and the

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18

SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 1
SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 2
SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 3
SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 4
SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 5
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SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 40
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http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2018-19
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARFall2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/LRSINSIGHT
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2017-18
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2017
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