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The Ancient and Judicial Game: James Wilson, John Marshall Harlan, and the Beginnings of Golf at the Supreme Court


Ross E. Davies


George Mason University School of Law; The Green Bag

March 17, 2010

Journal of Supreme Court History, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 122-143, July 2010
Errata, Vol. 36. No. 1, p. 82, March 2011
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 10-17

Abstract:     
Golf has a long history at the Supreme Court, not only as a sometimes illuminating, sometimes entertaining interest of some personalities at the Court, but also as both a factor in and a reflection of the evolving work and culture of the place (and of the nation it serves). This article revisits a few early developments involving the first golfer on the Court (Justice James Wilson), the first golf enthusiast (the first Justice John Marshall Harlan), and the first golfing majority (October Term 1906).

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: baseball, briefs, Chevy Chase, Chief Justice, Edward White, evidence, first amendment, health, indecency, Malvina, McKinley, Fuller, Oliver Wendell Holmes, oral argument, President, profanity, resign, retire, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Salmon Chase, Solicitor General, Stevens, Taft, Theodore Roosevelt

JEL Classification: K10, K20, K21, K23, K40

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: March 23, 2010 ; Last revised: April 18, 2011

Suggested Citation

Davies, Ross E., The Ancient and Judicial Game: James Wilson, John Marshall Harlan, and the Beginnings of Golf at the Supreme Court (March 17, 2010). Journal of Supreme Court History, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 122-143, July 2010; Errata, Vol. 36. No. 1, p. 82, March 2011; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 10-17. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1573857

Contact Information

Ross E. Davies (Contact Author)
George Mason University School of Law ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
The Green Bag ( email )
6600 Barnaby St., NW
Washington, DC 20015
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.greenbag.org
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