Letter to the editor of THE BROAD AX (a Chicago African- American newspaper)
Darrow, Sisman, Holly
1310, 140 N. Dearborn St.
Clarence S. Darrow
William H. Holly
William L. Carlin
Victor S. Yarros
Julius F. Taylor, Editor,
The Broad Ax,
I desire to protest against the unfair treatment received by Edward H. Morris at the hands of the Chicago Bar Association and its committee. It is unfortunate that such a direct insult should be offered to the colored people of Chicago. It does no good to the feeling that already exists due to very narrow views of many people.
The committee's report on the candidates for judges stated that Edward H. Morris was a colored man. They might as well have given the nationality or race of every other candidate on the ticket, and the ticket is made up of various nationalities. They stated that he was a man who had a large practice, mainly in criminal cases. I know of no reason why a lawyer engaged in the defense of those charged with crime should not be a good judge, but as a matter of fact, Mr. Morris' practice has been mainly civil for many years, which fact must have been known to this committee and certainly should have been known had they wished to make a point of the question of his line of practice. We have ad many judges who came directly from the State Attorney's office and whose sole experience had been in the criminal courts, and this is the first time I have ever known this matter to be referred to in a report of the committee.
The report also says that he would not be a fit man for the bench. Every man familiar with Mr. Morris' attainments and practice of the law in the City of Chicago knows perfectly well that in his legal ability, disposition and everything else that goes to make a judge, he is the peer of any man on either ticket. This must have been known both to the committee and the members of the bar who voted at the bar primary.
The statement of the committee that he would not make a fit judge must have been prompted solely by his color. The small vote he received at the bar primary was due solely to his color. I guarantee that if any one doubts this and will ask the lawyers whom they meet in Chicago indiscriminately, 90 per cent of them will say of Mr. Morris what I said. I say it not only from his general reputation as a lawyer, but from a long personal acquaintance, friendship, and experience with him in court. Aside from his ability as a lawyer, he was for many years a member of legislature. During one session, I was a member with him and I can say emphatically that there was no abler man in the legislature than Mr. Morris.
I know of no man on either ticket who is better qualified or whom I believe would make a better judge, and I trust that the colored voters of this City will give him such a vote as emphatically to show their disapproval of the report and the action of the bar.
Very truly yours,
Clarence S. Darrow
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