Law

Andrews v. State
The case of Andrews v. State is the single most important case regarding the right to bear arms under the Tennessee State Constitution. Article I, Section 26 of the constitution provides "That the cit... Continue Reading »
Ashwander et al. v. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
On February 17, 1936, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes delivered the principal opinion in this 8-1 ruling on the constitutionality of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) after di... Continue Reading »
Baker v. Carr
This case, filed by urban voters against the Tennessee Secretary of State and Attorney General in the U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee, was one of the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Ear... Continue Reading »
Birch, Adolpho A.
Adolpho A. Birch, a pioneering African American jurist, became the first black man to hold several judicial posts in Nashville and the first to assume the chief justice position of the Tennessee Supre... Continue Reading »
Bomar Jr., James Lafayette
James Lafayette Bomar Jr., a lawyer from Bedford County, Tennessee, served his state as a congressman, senator, and lieutenant governor; he then extended his commitment to service to the global comm... Continue Reading »
Burch Jr., Lucius E.
Lucius E. Burch Jr., attorney, conservationist, and civil rights advocate, was born on a large farm outside Nashville on January 25, 1912, the son of Dr. Lucius E. Burch and Sarah Cooper Burch. He was... Continue Reading »
Campbell, Judge David
Judge David Campbell, State of Franklin official and early territorial and state judge, was born in Augusta County, Virginia, in 1750. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution,... Continue Reading »
Catron, John
John Catron served as first chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and later as associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was probably born in Virginia in the mid-1780s and received a meag... Continue Reading »
Clinton Desegregation Crisis
A series of events from 1947 to 1958 placed the Civil Rights story of Clinton, the seat of Anderson County, on the national stage as one of the starting points in the modern Civil Rights movement. Wit... Continue Reading »
Cooper v. State
An important ruling on the concept of self-defense resulted from one of the most famous murder trials in Tennessee history. On November 9, 1908, Robin Cooper shot and killed Edward W. Carmack in downt... Continue Reading »
Cumberland Compact
Richard Henderson, land speculator and representative for North Carolina on the western Virginia/North Carolina survey team, drew up the Cumberland Compact in 1780. Signed on May 1, 1780, by 250 men o... Continue Reading »
Cumberland University Law School
The "Lebanon Law School" opened its first term in October 1847 as the first school of law in the Old Southwest. Professor Abraham Caruthers was soon joined by state Supreme Court Justice Nathan Green ... Continue Reading »
Daughtrey, Martha Craig
Martha Craig Daughtrey, attorney, law professor, and judge, was born on July 21, 1942, in Covington, Kentucky. She received a B.A. (cum laude) from Vanderbilt University in 1964 and graduated from Van... Continue Reading »
Disfranchising Laws
In 1889 the Tennessee General Assembly passed four acts of self-described electoral reform that resulted in the disfranchisement of a significant portion of African American voters as well as many poo... Continue Reading »
Dueling
Dueling, defined as private combat governed by formal rules, was a manifestation of the romantic spirit that once existed in the South. A relic of feudalism, the duel was popularized among rank-consci... Continue Reading »
Evans v. McCabe
The Tennessee Supreme Court decision in Evans v. McCabe (1932) held that the Tennessee Constitution prohibits the state from enacting and collecting a tax on income earned within the state. (1) L. C.... Continue Reading »
Ford v. Ford
This significant decision of the Tennessee Supreme Court provides a valuable understanding of the Tennessee judiciary's peculiar relationship with the institution of slavery. The case arose after... Continue Reading »
Fortas, Abe
Abe Fortas, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, was born in Memphis, the son of an English-born Orthodox Jew and cabinetmaker. While attending high school, Fortas worked nights at a ... Continue Reading »
Grainger v. State
This Tennessee Supreme Court decision addressed one of the most controversial homicide cases of the nineteenth century. The case involved a conflict between two men--Grainger and Broach--who had been ... Continue Reading »
Green, Nathan
Nathan Green, noted Tennessee Supreme Court judge, was born on May 16, 1792, in Amelia County, Virginia, the son of planter Thomas Green. The young Green left his home state and relocated to Tennessee... Continue Reading »