Interview with Tom C. Clark, May 8, 1973

Project: Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Having served with Fred Vinson on the Supreme Court from 1949 until Fred Vinson's death in 1952 and being one of two justices assigned to the Court under Vinson, Justice Clark is in a unique position to discuss Vinson's role on the Court. He talks about Vinson's position in regards to civil rights, in particular the cases of Sweatt v. Painter, Shelley v. Kraemer, and what Vinson's position might have been on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Clark reviews some of the background of the Brown decision. The workings of Vinson's Court and the Supreme Court in general are discussed at various times throughout the interview. Clark talks about the climate of the Court at the time of Vinson's appointment and the possibility of Vinson having been brought in to mediate between factions. Vinson's attributes that may have contributed to his appointment to the Court are reviewed. Clark discusses Vinson's relationship with Harry S Truman and Vinson's potential presidential candidacy in 1952. Vinson's philosophy on civil liberties cases is discussed as well as Vinson's relationship with Justice Felix Frankfurter. The "Vinson Club" is explained.

Interview Accession

1973oh001_vin001

Interviewee Name

Tom C. Clark

Interviewer Name

Robert M. Ireland

Interview Date

1973-05-08

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Clark, Tom C. Interview by Robert M. Ireland. 08 May. 1973. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Clark, T.C. (1973, May 08). Interview by R. M. Ireland. Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Clark, Tom C., interview by Robert M. Ireland. May 08, 1973, Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7n2z12rb0q