John K. Richards

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John Kelvey Richards
John Kelvey Richards.png
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
In office
February 23, 1903 – March 1, 1909
Appointed byTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byWilliam R. Day
Succeeded byJohn Wesley Warrington
Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Sixth Circuit
In office
February 23, 1903 – March 1, 1909
Appointed byTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byWilliam R. Day
Succeeded byJohn Wesley Warrington
10th Solicitor General of the United States
In office
July 1, 1897 – March 16, 1903
Appointed byWilliam McKinley
Preceded byHolmes Conrad
Succeeded byHenry M. Hoyt
20th Attorney General of Ohio
In office
January 11, 1892 – January 13, 1896
GovernorWilliam McKinley
Preceded byDavid K. Watson
Succeeded byFrank S. Monnett
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 8th district
In office
January 6, 1890 – January 3, 1892
Serving with J. L. Carpenter
Preceded byWilliam J. Rannells
Succeeded byJ. L. Carpenter
Personal details
Born
John Kelvey Richards

(1856-03-15)March 15, 1856
Ironton, Ohio
DiedMarch 1, 1909(1909-03-01) (aged 52)
Cincinnati, Ohio
EducationSwarthmore College (A.B.)
Harvard University (A.B.)
read law

John Kelvey Richards (March 15, 1856 – March 1, 1909) was the 20th Attorney General of Ohio, the 10th Solicitor General of the United States and a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and of the United States Circuit Courts for the Sixth Circuit.

Education and career[edit]

Born on March 15, 1856, in Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio,[1] Richards was the son of Samuel and Sarah (Kelvey) Richards.[2] Having received his early education in the schools of his native town,[2] Richards received an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1875 from Swarthmore College, an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1877 from Harvard University and read law in 1879,[1] in the office of Judge William Wartenbee Johnson, later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.[2] He was a prosecutor for Lawrence County from 1880 to 1882.[1] He was city solicitor for Ironton from 1885 to 1889.[1] He was a member of the Ohio Senate from 1890 to 1892,[1] serving as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.[2] He was the 20th Attorney General of Ohio from 1892 to 1896,[1] his term running currently with that of Governor of Ohio William McKinley.[2] He was a member of the Commission to Codify Insurance Laws of Ohio from 1895 to 1896.[1] He was counsel for the Commission on Taxation of the Ohio General Assembly in 1896.[1] He was general counsel for the Ohio State Board of Medical Registration and Examination from 1896 to 1898.[1] He was special counsel for the Ohio State Board of Appraisers and Assessors from 1896 to 1898.[1] He was the 10th Solicitor General of the United States from July 1, 1897 to March 16, 1903.[1][3]

Notable cases as Ohio Attorney General[edit]

While serving as the Ohio Attorney General, Richards successfully fought through the courts the claim of the state that though it had granted the canal beds to these cities for streets and sewage purposes, the cities had no right to turn them over to the railroads and that the railroads must surrender their use to the state.[2] The tax bills which he as counsel for the legislative committee helped to draft, he was called upon to uphold in state courts and in the United States Supreme Court.[2] His successful defense of these bills, which taxed the franchises of foreign corporations, the property of interstate express companies by the "unit" rule, and the proportionate share of cars of sleeping car companies, gave rise to decisions which became the basis for much important excise and property-tax law.[2]

Notable cases as Solicitor General[edit]

As Solicitor General, Richards was called upon to handle the difficult legal questions arising out of the Spanish–American War, particularly in reference to the territory acquired by the United States.[2] A number of the Insular Cases were argued by him in the Supreme Court, as were also the Joint Traffic Association and the Addyston Pipe & Steel Company cases.[2] He prepared the briefs and handled the Northern Securities case until his appointment to the bench in 1903.[2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Richards was nominated by President Theodore Roosevelt on February 19, 1903, to a joint seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States Circuit Courts for the Sixth Circuit vacated by Judge William Rufus Day.[1] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 23, 1903, and received his commission the same day.[1] His service terminated on March 1, 1909, due to his death in Cincinnati, Ohio.[1]

Judicial opinions[edit]

During his time on the federal bench, Richards wrote over 140 opinions, few being over three pages long, and many only one or two.[2]

Personal[edit]

On June 12, 1890, Richards married Anna Willard Steece of Ironton, Ohio, who with one daughter and two sons survived him.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n John Kelvey Richards at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Solicitor General: John K. Richards". www.justice.gov. 23 October 2014.
  3. ^ Jost, Kenneth (1993). The Supreme Court A to Z. CQ Press. p. 428. ISBN 9781608717446.

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
David K. Watson
20th Attorney General of Ohio
1892–1896
Succeeded by
Frank S. Monnett
Preceded by
Holmes Conrad
10th Solicitor General of the United States
1897–1903
Succeeded by
Henry M. Hoyt
Preceded by
William R. Day
Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Sixth Circuit
1903–1909
Succeeded by
John Wesley Warrington
Preceded by
William R. Day
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
1903–1909
Succeeded by
John Wesley Warrington