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Learned HandThe Man and the Judge$
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Gerald Gunther

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377774

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377774.001.0001

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Promotion To The Second Circuit

Promotion To The Second Circuit

(p.231) 6. Promotion To The Second Circuit
Learned Hand

Gerald Gunther

Oxford University Press

This chapter details Learned Hand's promotion to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. By the spring of 1917, after only eight years on the bench, Hand was the most senior judge of his district. He had grown more confident about his talents, and the increasing attention to his rulings by lawyers, fellow judges, and professional publications reinforced his self-esteem. Yet many of his daily chores as a district judge seemed ever more routine and dull. Increasingly, the Second Circuit summoned him to hear appeals, and he found that the appellate work gave him some of his most enjoyable and rewarding days. A permanent seat on the Circuit Court of Appeals, he knew, would assure him of regular work on legal problems of interest and significance. Hand entered the race for promotion in July 1924, and within a month, he learned that the nomination was his. His road to the Second Circuit was assured by the support he received from the judge whom he succeeded there, Julius Mayer. The Senate confirmed Hand, unanimously and without hesitation, on December 20. A few days later, Hand received his commission as circuit judge, and on December 29 he was sworn in by senior judge Charles M. Hough.

Keywords:   self-esteem, federal district judge, Second Circuit Court of Appeals, appellate court, circuit judge, Charles M. Hough

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