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Tom C. Clark

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Tom Campbell Clark (September 23, 1899 in Dallas, TexasJune 13, 1977) was United States Attorney General from 1945-1949 and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1949-1967).

Clark served as Texas National Guard infantryman in 1918; afterward he studied law, receiving his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1922 and setting up practice in his home town of Dallas from 1922-1937. He resigned from private practice for a period to serve as civil district attorney for the city from 1927-32.

Clark, a Democrat, joined the Justice Department in 1937 and served as civilian coordinator for the forced relocation of Japanese-Americans in California and elsewhere during the opening months of World War II (see Japanese internment). Later, he headed the antitrust and criminal divisions at Justice.

Appointed Attorney General by Truman in 1945, Clark was appointed to the court in August 1949, filling the vacancy left by the death of Frank Murphy.

While on the court, Clark often took a decidedly anti-Communist stance during the "Red Scare." He is noted for writing the majority opinion in the landmark cases Mapp v. Ohio, applying the Fourth Amendment "exclusionary rule" to the states, and Abington School District v. Schempp, invalidating daily Bible readings in public schools. Clark supported the end of racial segregation, siding with the majority in Brown v. Board of Education and Sweatt v. Painter.

Clark retired from the court on June 12, 1967, to avoid conflict of interest when his son, Ramsey Clark, was appointed Attorney General. He was succeeded in his post by Thurgood Marshall. After his retirement he served as a visiting justice in the U.S. Courts of Appeals, as director of the Federal Judicial Center, and as Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Judicature Society.

He died in New York City and is buried in Restland Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas.


Preceded by:
Francis Biddle
Attorney General of the United States
19451949
Succeeded by:
J. Howard McGrath
Preceded by:
Frank Murphy
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
August 24, 1949June 12, 1967
Succeeded by:
Thurgood Marshall

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