Stanley Forman Reed
- For the Indian newspaper editor and British politician, see Stanley Reed.
|Stanley Forman Reed|
Associate Justice Reed
|Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court|
January 27, 1938 – February 25, 1957
|Nominated by||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Preceded by||George Sutherland|
|Succeeded by||Charles Evans Whittaker|
December 31, 1884|
Minerva, Mason County, Kentucky
April 2, 1980
Huntington, New York
|Spouse(s)||Winifred Elgin Reed|
Stanley Forman Reed (December 31, 1884 – April 2, 1980) was a noted American attorney who served as United States Solicitor General from 1935 to 1938 and as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1938 to 1957. He was the last Supreme Court Justice who did not graduate from law school (though Justice Robert H. Jackson, who served from 1941 to 1954, was the last such justice appointed to the Supreme Court).
- Early life 1
Public service 2
- Federal Farm Bureau 2.1
- Reconstruction Finance Corporation 2.2
- Solicitor General 2.3
Supreme Court 3
- Important opinions 3.1
- Hiss case 3.2
- Dissents and retirement 3.3
- Retirement and death 4
- Quotations 5
- Law clerks 6
- See also 7
- Notes 8
- References 9
- Further reading 10
- External links 11
Stanley Reed was born in the small town of Minerva in 
Reed's invaluable assistance in defending the federal government's interests in "the 
1937 proved to be a banner year for the Solicitor General. Reed argued and won such major cases as 
On January 5, 1938, 75-year-old Associate Justice Willis Van Devanter, one of the Court's conservative "Four Horsemen," had retired the previous summer. Roosevelt had nominated Senator Hugo Black as his replacement, and Black's nomination battle proved to be a long and bitter one. To the relief of many, Reed's nomination was swift and generated little debate in the Senate. He was confirmed on January 25, 1938, and seated as an Associate Justice on January 31. His successor as Solicitor General was Robert H. Jackson. As of 2012, Reed was the last person to serve as a Supreme Court Justice without possessing a law degree.
Stanley Reed spent 19 years on the Supreme Court. But Reed was not lonely on the bench: within two years, Reed was joined on the bench by his mentor, Felix Frankfurter, and his protégé, Robert H. Jackson. Reed and Jackson held very similar views on national security issues and often voted together. While Reed and Frankfurter also held similar views, Frankfurter usually concurred with Reed (offering lengthy, professorial discussions of the law compared to Reed's terse opinions keeping to the facts of the case).
Reed was considered a moderate and often provided the critical fifth vote in split rulings. He authored more than 300 opinions, and Chief Justice Warren Burger said "he wrote with clarity and firmness...." Reed was an economic progressive, and generally supported racial desegregation, civil liberties, trade union rights and economic regulation. On free speech, national security and certain social issues, however, Reed was generally a conservative. He often approved of federal (but not state or local) restrictions on civil liberties. Reed also opposed applying the Bill of Rights to the states via the 14th Amendment.
Among Reed's more notable decisions are:
- United States v. Rock Royal Cooperative, Inc., 307 U.S. 533 (1939) – This was one of the first cases in which Reed wrote the majority opinion. The case was especially important to Reed because of his prior career as an attorney for agricultural cooperatives (Rock Royal was a milk producers co-op). Reed stuck closely to the facts in the case, quoting at length from the statute, regulations and agency order.
- Gorin v. United States, 312 U.S. 19 (1941) – Upheld several aspects of the Espionage Act of 1917
- Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944) – In 1935, a unanimous Supreme Court in Grovey v. Townsend, 295 U.S. 45 (1935), had held that political parties in Texas did not violate the constitutional rights of African American citizens by denying them the right to vote in a primary election. But in Smith v. Allwright, the issue came before the Court again. This time, the plaintiff alleged that the state, not the political party, had denied black citizens the right to vote. In an 8-to-1 decision authored by Reed, the Supreme Court overruled Grovey as wrongly decided. In ringing terms, Reed dismissed the state action question and declared that "the Court throughout its history has freely exercised its power to reexamine the basis of its constitutional decisions." The lone dissenter was Justice Roberts, who had written the majority opinion nine years earlier in Grovey.
- U.S. 373 (1946) – In a 7-to-1 ruling, Reed applied the undue burden standard to a Virginia law which required separate but equal racial segregation in public transportation. Reed found that the law created an undue burden because uniformity of law was essential in certain interstate activities, such as transportation.
- Adamson v. California, 332 U.S. 46 (1947) – Adamson was charged with murder but chose not to testify because he knew the prosecutor would ask him about his prior criminal record. Adamson argued that because the prosecutor had drawn attention to his refusal to testify, and thus Adamson's freedom against self-incrimination had been violated. Reed wrote that the rights guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment did not extend the protections of the Fifth Amendment to state courts. Reed felt that the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment did not intend to apply the Bill of Rights to states without limitation.
- Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948) – Reed said he was proudest of his dissent in Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Education. The ruling was the first to declare that a state had violated the Establishment Clause. Reed disliked the phrase "wall of separation between church and state," and his dissent contains his famous dictum about the phrase: "A rule of law should not be drawn from a figure of speech."
- Pennekamp v. Florida, 328 U.S. 331 (1946) – Reed authored this majority opinion for a court which confronted the issue of whether judges could censor newspapers for impugning the reputation of the courts. The Miami Herald newspaper had published two editorials and a cartoon criticizing a Florida court's actions in a pending trial. The judge cited the publisher and editors for contempt, claiming that the published material maligned the integrity of the court and thereby interfered with the fair administration of justice. Hewing closely to the facts in the case, Reed used the clear and present danger test to come down firmly on the side of freedom of expression.
- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) – This was recognized as a critical case even before it reached the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Earl Warren, realizing how controversial the case would be for the public, very much wanted to avoid any dissents in the case. But Reed was the lone hold-out. Other members of the Supreme Court worried about Reed's commitment to civil rights, as he was a member of the (then) all-white Burning Tree Club in Washington, D.C., and his Kentucky home had an all-white restrictive covenant (a covenant which had led Reed to recuse himself from a civil rights case in 1948). Yet, Reed had written the majority decision in Smith v. Allwright and joined the majority in Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 (1950), which barred separate but equal racial segregation in law schools. Reed originally planned to write a dissent in Brown, but joined the majority before a decision was issued. Many observers, including Chief Justice Warren, believed Reed's decision to join the Brown decision helped win public acceptance for the decision.
Reed's fame and notoriety did not stem solely from his judicial rulings, however. In 1949, Reed was caught up in the Alger Hiss case. Hiss, one of Reed and Frankfurter's protégés, was accused of espionage in August 1948. Hiss was tried in June 1949. Hiss's attorneys subpoenaed both Reed and Frankfurter. Although Reed ethically objected to having a sitting Associate Justice of the Supreme Court testify in a legal proceeding, he agreed to do so once he was subpoenaed. A number of observers strongly denounced Reed for refusing to disobey the subpoena.
Dissents and retirement
By the mid-1950s, Justice Reed was dissenting more and more frequently from court rulings. His first full dissent had come in 1939, nearly a year after his tenure on the court began. Initially, his dissents "were only when, with Hughes, Brandeis, Stone or Roberts—like himself, lawyers of deep experience—he could not go along with what he considered the judge-made amendments of the Constitution implicit in the opinions of Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas and Frank Murphy, whom Roosevelt had sent to follow Black and Reed on the court." But by 1955, Reed was dissenting much more frequently. Reed began to feel that the Court's jurisprudential center had shifted too far away from him and that he was losing his effectiveness.
Stanley Reed retired from the Supreme Court on February 25, 1957, citing old age. He was 73 years old. Charles Evans Whittaker was appointed his successor.
Retirement and death
Reed led a fairly active retirement. In November 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower asked Reed to chair the newly formed United States Commission on Civil Rights. Eisenhower announced the nomination on November 7, but Reed turned down the nomination on December 3. Reed cited the impropriety of having a former Associate Justice sit on such a political body. But some media reports indicated that his appointment would have been opposed by civil rights activists, who felt Reed was not sufficiently progressive.
Reed did, however, continue to serve the federal judiciary in a number of ways. For several years, he served as a temporary judge on a number of lower federal courts, particularly in the District of Columbia. He also served in special capacities where judicial experience was needed, such as boundary disputes between states.
Increasingly frail and often ill, Stanley Reed and his wife lived at the Hilaire Nursing Home in Huntington, New York for the last few years of their lives. Reed died there on April 2, 1980. He was survived by his wife and sons. He was interred in Maysville, Kentucky.
- "The United States is a constitutional democracy. Its organic law grants to all citizens a right to participate in the choice of elected officials without restriction by any state because of race." – Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944)
- "There is a recognized abstract principle, however, that may be taken as a postulate for testing whether particular state legislation in the absence of action by Congress is beyond state power. This is that the state legislation is invalid if it unduly burdens that commerce in matters where uniformity is necessary—necessary in the constitutional sense of useful in accomplishing a permitted purpose." – Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 328 U.S. 373 (1946)
- "Freedom of discussion should be given the widest possible range compatible with the essential requirement of the fair and orderly administration of justice. ... That a judge might be influenced by a desire to placate the accusing newspaper to retain public esteem and secure reelection at the cost of unfair rulings against an accused is too remote a possibility to be considered a clear and present danger to justice." – Pennekamp v. Florida, 328 U.S. 331 (1946)
- "A rule of law should not be drawn from a figure of speech." – Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948) (commenting on the phrase "wall of separation between church and state")
- "Philosophers and poets, thinkers of high and low degree from every age and race have sought to expound the meaning of virtue, but each teaches his own conception of the moral excellence that satisfies standards of good conduct. Are the tests of the Puritan or the Cavalier to be applied, those of the city or the farm, the Christian or non-Christian, the old or the young? Does the Bill of Rights permit Illinois to forbid any reflection on the virtue of racial or religious classes which a jury or a judge may think exposes them to derision or obloquy, words themselves of quite uncertain meaning as used in the statute? I think not." – Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250 (1952)
- David M. Becker, SEC General Counsel
- List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States
- List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States
- List of U.S. Supreme Court Justices by time in office
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Hughes Court
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Stone Court
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Vinson Court
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Warren Court
- "Federal Judicial Center: Stanley Forman Reed". December 12, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2009.
- Fassett, New Deal Justice: The Life of Stanley Reed of Kentucky, 1994.
- Tomlins, The United States Supreme Court: The Pursuit of Justice, 2005.
- "New Deal Pleas Won Reed Fame," New York Times, January 16, 1938.
- Goodman, "Ex-Justice Stanley Reed, 95, Dead," New York Times, April 4, 1980.
- Schlesinger, The Age of Roosevelt: The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919–1933, 1957.
- Kennedy, Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945, 1999.
- "Farm Board Counsel to Retire," New York Times, November 8, 1929.
- Charles Gates Dawes, president of the RFC, resigned in June 1932 as it became apparent that congressional legislation would pass requiring public disclosure of which loans had been made to which companies. It was soon revealed that under his direction, the RFC had strongly favored only a few banks with Republican political connections. Atlee Pomerene, his successor, was forced to resign as well when Congress learned that he not only made loans to a bank which Dawes now led (the bank, with only $95 million in assets, received a loan of $90 million but still collapsed) but also made a loan to a bank for which he was a director. See: Schlesinger, The Age of Roosevelt: The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919–1933, 1957.
- "Bogue Quits as R.F.C. Counsel," New York Times, December 2, 1932; Nash, "Herbert Hoover and the Origins of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, December 1959; Mason, "The Political Economy of Reconstruction Finance Corporation Assistance During the Great Depression," Explorations in Economic History, April 2003; Olson, Saving Capitalism: The Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the New Deal, 1933–1940, 1988.
- Schlesinger, The Age of Roosevelt: The Coming of the New Deal, 1933–1935, 1958.
- On March 6, 1933, the day after his inauguration, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 2039, which prohibited Americans from exporting and hoarding gold. Three days later, on March 9, 1933, Congress passed the Emergency Banking Act, which gave the Treasury the right to confiscate gold held by American citizens. On April 19, 1933, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6111, confiscating the gold held by American citizens. See: Butkiewicz, "The Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Gold Standard and the Banking Panic of 1933," Southern Economic Journal, 1999; and Eichengreen, Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919–1939, 1992.
- "Stanley Reed Named Solicitor General," New York Times, March 19, 1935.
- Butkiewicz, "The Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Gold Standard and the Banking Panic of 1933," Southern Economic Journal, 1999; Eichengreen, Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919–1939, 1992; Wicker, The Banking Panics of the Great Depression, 1996.
- "This resolution provided the basis for devaluation and, indeed, for the nation's entire monetary policy." Schlesinger, The Age of Roosevelt: The Coming of the New Deal, 1933–1935, 1958, p. 255.
- Schlesinger, The Age of Roosevelt: The Politics of Upheaval, 1935–1936, 1960.
- Stark, "Belcher Test Case of Validity of NRA to Be Abandoned," New York Times, March 26, 1935; Dinwoodey, "New NRA Test Case Covers Basic Issues," New York Times, April 7, 1935; "Urges High Court to Give 7A Ruling," New York Times, April 12, 1935; "Map Legal Battle for AAA Program," Associated Press, September 23, 1935; "Reed In Collapse," New York Times, December 11, 1935.
- Hoffer, Hoffer, Hull and Hull, The Supreme Court: An Essential History, 2007.
- Jost, The Supreme Court A-Z, 1998.
- Wood, "Sutherland Quits Supreme Court," New York Times, January 6, 1938; "Stanley Reed Goes to Supreme Court," New York Times, January 16, 1938; "Jackson Is Named Solicitor General," New York Times, January 28, 1938; "High Court Holds Challenge of NLRB Must Await Board Order Against Company," New York Times, February 1, 1938.
- "Senate Quickly Confirms Reed Nomination," New York Times, January 26, 1938.
- "Murphy, Jackson Inducted Together," New York Times, January 19, 1940.
- Fassett, "The Buddha and the Bumblebee: The Saga of Stanley Reed and Felix Frankfurter," Journal of Supreme Court History, July 2003.
- Huston, "High Court Bars Trials By States In Sedition Cases," New York Times, April 3, 1956; Huston, "High Court Upholds Deportation and Denial of Bail to Alien Reds," New York Times, March 11, 1952; Stark, "High Court Affirms Non-Red Taft Oath," New York Times, May 9, 1950; Walz, "Decision Is 6 to 2," New York Times, June 5, 1951.
- United States v. Rock Royal, 307 U.S. 533 (1939).
- Wood, "High Court Rules Negroes Can Vote In Texas Primary," New York Times, April 4, 1944.
- Kluger, Simple Justice, 1977; "3 Justice Step Out of 'Covenants' Case," Associated Press, January 16, 1948.
- Conklin, "Frankfurter, Reed Testify to Loyalty, Integrity of Hiss," New York Times, June 23, 1949; "Justices on Stand Called 'Degrading'," Associated Press, July 18, 1949.
- Krock, "Reed's Views Reflect Changing High Court," New York Times, February 3, 1957.
- Huston, "Justice Reed, 72, to Retire From the Supreme Court," New York Times, February 1, 1957; "Justice Reed Retires From Supreme Court," New York Times, February 26, 1957.
- "Federal Judge in Missouri Named to Supreme Court," New York Times, March 3, 1957.
- Lewis, "Eisenhower Picks Civil Rights Unit," New York Times, November 8, 1957; Lewis, "Reed Turns Down Civil Rights Post," New York Times, December 4, 1957.
- "Reed Given Court Task," United Press International, October 29, 1957; "Ex-Justice Reed to Hear Case," New York Times," March 4, 1958; "Potomac Pact Delayed," New York Times, November 22, 1960.
- Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649, 664 (1944).
- Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 328 U.S. 373, 377 (1946).
- Pennekamp v. Florida, 328 U.S. 331, 347 (1946), 349.
- Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203, 247 (1948).
- Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250, 284 (1952).
- "Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP | Lawyers | David M. Becker". Cgsh.com. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "Bogue Quits as R.F.C. Counsel." New York Times. December 2, 1932.
- Butkiewicz, James L. "The Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Gold Standard and the Banking Panic of 1933." Southern Economic Journal. 1999.
- Conklin, William R. "Frankfurter, Reed Testify to Loyalty, Integrity of Hiss." New York Times. June 23, 1949.
- Dinwoodey, Dean. "New NRA Test Case Covers Basic Issues." New York Times. April 7, 1935.
- Eichengreen, Barry J. Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919–1939. New ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. ISBN 0-19-510113-8
- "Ex-Justice Reed to Hear Case." New York Times." March 4, 1958.
- "Farm Board Counsel to Retire." New York Times. November 8, 1929.
- Fassett, John D. "The Buddha and the Bumblebee: The Saga of Stanley Reed and Felix Frankfurter." Journal of Supreme Court History. 28:2 (July 2003).
- Fassett, John D. New Deal Justice: The Life of Stanley Reed of Kentucky. New York: Vantage Press, 1994. ISBN 0-533-10707-5
- "Federal Judge in Missouri Named to Supreme Court." New York Times. March 3, 1957.
- Goodman Jr., George. "Ex-Justice Stanley Reed, 95, Dead." New York Times. April 4, 1980.
- "High Court Holds Challenge of NLRB Must Await Board Order Against Company." New York Times. February 1, 1938.
- Hoffer, Peter Charles; Hoffer, William James Hull; and Hull, N.E.H. The Supreme Court: An Essential History. Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 2007. ISBN 0-7006-1538-5
- Huston, Luther A. "High Court Bars Trials By States In Sedition Cases." New York Times. April 3, 1956.
- Huston, Luther A. "High Court Upholds Deportation And Denial of Bail to Alien Reds." New York Times. March 11, 1952.
- Huston, Luther A. "Justice Reed, 72, to Retire From the Supreme Court." New York Times. February 1, 1957.
- "Jackson Is Named Solicitor General." New York Times. January 28, 1938.
- Jost, Kenneth. The Supreme Court A-Z. 1st ed. New York: Routledge, 1998. ISBN 1-57958-124-2
- "Justice Reed Retires From Supreme Court." New York Times. February 26, 1957.
- "Justices on Stand Called 'Degrading'." Associated Press. July 18, 1949.
- Kennedy, David M. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 0195038347
- Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice. Paperback ed. New York: Vantage Press, 1977. ISBN 0-394-72255-8
- Krock, Arthur. "Reed's Views Reflect Changing High Court." New York Times. February 3, 1957.
- Lewis, Anthony. "Eisenhower Picks Civil Rights Unit." New York Times. November 8, 1957.
- Lewis, Anthony. "Reed Turns Down Civil Rights Post." New York Times. December 4, 1957.
- "Map Legal Battle for AAA Program." Associated Press. September 23, 1935.
- Mason, Joseph R. "The Political Economy of Reconstruction Finance Corporation Assistance During the Great Depression." Explorations in Economic History. 40:2 (April 2003).
- "Murphy, Jackson Inducted Together." New York Times. January 19, 1940.
- Nash, Gerald D. "Herbert Hoover and the Origins of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation." Mississippi Valley Historical Review. December 1959.
- "New Deal Pleas Won Reed Fame." New York Times. January 16, 1938.
- Olson, James S. Saving Capitalism: The Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the New Deal, 1933–1940. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-691-04749-9
- "Potomac Pact Delayed." New York Times. November 22, 1960.
- "Reed Given Court Task." United Press International. October 29, 1957.
- "Reed In Collapse." New York Times. December 11, 1935.
- Schlesinger, Arthur M. The Age of Roosevelt: The Coming of the New Deal, 1933–1935. Paperback ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1958. ISBN 0-618-34086-6
- Schlesinger, Arthur M. The Age of Roosevelt: The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919–1933. Paperback ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1957. ISBN 0-618-34085-8
- Schlesinger, Arthur M. The Age of Roosevelt: The Politics of Upheaval, 1935–1936. Paperback ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1960. ISBN 0-618-34087-4
- "Senate Quickly Confirms Reed Nomination." New York Times. January 26, 1938.
- "Stanley Reed Goes to Supreme Court." New York Times. January 16, 1938.
- "Stanley Reed Named Solicitor General." New York Times. March 19, 1935.
- Stark, Louis. "Belcher Test Case of Validity of NRA to Be Abandoned." New York Times. March 26, 1935.
- Stark, Louis. "High Court Affirms Non-Red Taft Oath." New York Times. May 9, 1950.
- "3 Justice Step Out of 'Covenants' Case." Associated Press. January 16, 1948.
- Tomlins, Christopher, ed. The United States Supreme Court: The Pursuit of Justice. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. ISBN 0-618-32969-2
- "Urges High Court to Give 7A Ruling." New York Times. April 12, 1935.
- Urofsky, Melvin I. Division & Discord: The Supreme Court Under Stone and Vinson, 1941–1953. New ed. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1998. ISBN 1-57003-318-8
- Walz, Jay. "Decision Is 6 to 2." New York Times. June 5, 1951.
- Wicker, Elmus. The Banking Panics of the Great Depression. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-521-56261-9
- Wood, Lewis. "High Court Rules Negroes Can Vote In Texas Primary." New York Times. April 4, 1944.
- Wood, Lewis. "Sutherland Quits Supreme Court." New York Times. January 6, 1938.
- Abraham, Henry J., Justices and Presidents: A Political History of Appointments to the Supreme Court. 3d. ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). ISBN 0-19-506557-3.
- Cushman, Clare, The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies,1789–1995 (2nd ed.) (Supreme Court Historical Society), (Congressional Quarterly Books, 2001) ISBN 1-56802-126-7; ISBN 978-1-56802-126-3.
- Frank, John P., The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions (Leon Friedman and Fred L. Israel, editors) (Chelsea House Publishers: 1995) ISBN 0-7910-1377-4, ISBN 978-0-7910-1377-9.
- Martin, Fenton S. and Goehlert, Robert U., The U.S. Supreme Court: A Bibliography, (Congressional Quarterly Books, 1990). ISBN 0-87187-554-3.
- Urofsky, Melvin I., The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary (New York: Garland Publishing 1994). 590 pp. ISBN 0-8153-1176-1; ISBN 978-0-8153-1176-8.
- Stanley F. Reed Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
- Stanley F. Reed papers. Manuscript Collection, Special Collections, William T. Young Library, University of Kentucky.
- Stanley Forman Reed at Find a Grave
James Crawford Biggs
Robert H. Jackson
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
January 27, 1938 – February 25, 1957
Charles Evans Whittaker
Reed's help with Roosevelt's gold polices was not yet finished. On June 5, 1933, the Congress passed a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) voiding clauses in all public and private contracts permitting redemption in gold. Hundreds of angry creditors sued to overturn the law. The case finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court. United States Attorney General Homer Stille Cummings asked Reed to join him in writing the government's brief for the Court and assisting him during oral argument. Reed's help was critical, for the high court was resolutely conservative when it came to the sanctity of contracts.
The additional deflation helped stabilize the economy during a critical period where 
Second, Reed helped to successfully defend the administration's gold policy, saving the nation's Herman Oliphant to provide critical legal support for the plan.
During his tenure at the RFC, Reed influenced two major national policies. First, Reed was instrumental in setting up the Commodity Credit Corporation. In early October 1933, President Roosevelt ordered RFC president Jesse Jones to establish a program to strengthen cotton prices. On October 16, 1933, Jones met with Reed and together they created the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6340 the next day, which legally established the CCC. The brilliance of the CCC was that the government would hold surplus cotton as security for the loan. If cotton prices rose above the value of the loan, farmers could redeem their cotton, pay off the loan and make a profit. If prices stayed low, the farmer still had enough money to live as well as plant next year. The plan worked so well that it became the basis for the New Deal's entire agricultural program.
In December 1932, the general counsel of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) resigned, and Reed was appointed the agency's new general counsel. Since 1930, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Eugene Meyer, had pressed Hoover to take a more active approach to ameliorating the Great Depression. Hoover finally relented and submitted legislation. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act was signed into law on January 22, 1932, but its operations were kept secret for five months. Hoover feared both political attacks from Republicans and that publicity about which corporations were receiving RFC assistance might disrupt the agency's attempts to keep companies financially viable. When Congress passed legislation in July 1932 forcing the RFC to make public the companies that received loans, the resulting political embarrassment led to the resignation of the RFC's president and his successor as well as other staff turnover at the agency. Franklin D. Roosevelt's election as President in November 1932 led to further staff changes. On December 1, 1932, the RFC's general counsel resigned, and Hoover appointed Reed to the position. Roosevelt, impressed with Reed's work and needing someone who knew the agency, its staff and its operations, kept Reed on. Reed mentored and protected the careers of a number of young lawyers at RFC, many of whom became highly influential in the Roosevelt administration: Alger Hiss, Robert H. Jackson, Thomas Gardiner Corcoran, Charles Edward Wyzanski, Jr. (later an important federal district court judge), and David Cushman Coyle.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Herbert Hoover had been elected President of the United States in November 1928, and took office in March 1929. But even then, the agricultural industry in the United States was heading for a depression. Unlike his predecessor, Hoover agreed to provide some federal support for agriculture, and in June 1929 the Congress passed the Agriculture Marketing Act. The act established and was administered by the Federal Farm Board. The crash of the stock market in late October 1929 led the Federal Farm Board's general counsel to resign. Although Reed was a Democrat, his reputation as a corporate agricultural lawyer led President Hoover to appoint him the new general counsel of the Federal Farm Board on November 7, 1929. Reed served as general counsel until December 1932.
Reed's work for a number of large agricultural interested in Kentucky made him a nationally known authority on the law of agricultural cooperatives. It was this reputation which brought him to the attention of federal officials.
Federal Farm Bureau
After his studies in France, Reed returned to Kentucky. He was admitted to the bar in 1910 and established a legal practice in Maysville. He was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly in 1912 and served two two-year terms. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Reed joined the United States Army and was commissioned a lieutenant. When the war ended in 1918, Reed returned to his private law practice and became a well-known corporate attorney. He represented the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and the Kentucky Burley Tobacco Growers Association, among other large corporations. Stanley Reed was very active in the Sons of the American Revolution and Sons of Colonial Wars, while his wife was a national officer in the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Reeds settled on a farm near Maysville, where Stanley Reed raised prize-winning Holstein cattle in his spare time.
Reed attended Kentucky Wesleyan College and received a B.A. degree in 1902. He then attended Yale University as an undergraduate, and obtained a second B.A. in 1906. He studied law at the University of Virginia (where he was a member of St. Elmo Hall) and Columbia University, but did not obtain a law degree. Reed married the former Winifred Elgin in May 1908. The couple had two sons, John A. and Stanley Jr., who both became attorneys. In 1909 he traveled to France and studied at the Sorbonne, where he obtained his auditeur bénévole.