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The Green Bag

nation. He comes of a strong family, distinguished in morals and in law. They are blue-stocking Presbyterians and of rigid integrity. His father, John J. Davis, has been a leader of the West Virginia bar since the '60's, twice mem ber of Congress, and ever a most elo quent and formidable champion for the common people. His uncle, Judge Rezin C. Davis, held like rank at the Kentucky bar up to the time of his death in 1910. Judge Davis left two sons who are promi nent members of the Louisville bar. The Solicitor-General is a graduate of Washington and Lee University, class 1892 — occupied a chair in the law department of that institution '95-6 — was a member of the Legislature of West Virginia, session 1899, chairman of the judiciary committee and floor leader of the House; was President of the West Virginia Bar Association in 1906, and chose as subject for his annual address "The Growth of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution." Aside from public position, he has had a very thorough and diversified practical experience at the best bars of the state, covering a range of almost every phase of litigation arising in West Virginia. He has represented all classes of clients from the poorest to the richest, sometimes appearing for striking laborers and at other times appearing for cor porate interests, now winning a ver dict for personal injuries against a railroad, and now defending a railroad in a similar suit, now appearing for one oil company, and now winning immense values for his client from another oil company — sometimes appearing in cele brated criminal causes, but more often for private individuals in litigation touching property interests. His ideals for his profession are fairly mirrored in the two eloquent excerpts quoted below, the first taken from his

speech nominating the writer for Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and the other taken from his speech in the Senate of the United States There upon is no more the Archbald solemn function impeachment. which any set of men can ever be called upon to perform than that of selecting those who are to interpret and administer the laws of our country. There is no position in the country more sacred and important than that of a judge, and none the candidates for which should be scrutinized with more exacting care. He who would fill a posi tion on the bench of the Supreme Court of Appeals of this state must be of a high order of intellect and intelligence; he must possess a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the law, and a physique which will enable him to sustain the exhausting labors of that position; and above all he must possess an incorruptible purity ministerof upon heartthat before highhe altar. can be deemed fit to

So far as I know, it has been regarded from time immemorial as a gross indecency on the part of any court to solicit or accept suggestions, discussion, or argument from one party to a liti gation in the absence or without the knowledge of the other. Every code of judicial ethics ever written has forbidden it, and if it did not, the common conscience of mankind would protest against it. No subtler poison can corrupt the streams of justice than that of private access to the judge. Mr. President, all that was good in the feudal nobility was summed up in the two words of their deathless motto, noblesse oblige. They recognized that rank and station have their duties and obligations no less than their privi leges. If this be true of those whose elevation springs from the mere accident of birth, how much more so of those whose title to office depends upon the esteem of their fellow-citizens? How dare they for one moment forget that with them always and everywhere noblesse oblige? No man can justly be considered fit for public office of whatever rank or kind who does not realize the double duty resting upon him, — first, to administer his trust with unflinching honesty, and, second, and hardly less important, to so conduct himself that public confidence in his honesty shall remain unshaken. This confi dence of the people in the integrity of their officers is the foundation stone, the prop, the support of all free government; without it con