The most enduring legacy a president will have is an appointment to the United States Supreme Court.  A lifetime appointment to the high tribunal is the ultimate power. The nine Justices of the Supreme Court have omnipotent, everlasting power over most major decisions affecting issues and public policy in our nation. President Trump has had two SCOTUS appointments and confirmations.  This is monumental. These appointments may be his lasting legacy.

The only Alabamian to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court was Hugo Black.  It may come as a surprise to you, since Alabama is today considered one of the most conservative places in America, but Hugo Black was arguably one of the most liberal Supreme Court justices in history.  He was also one of the longest serving justices.  

Black was the fifth longest serving Supreme Court Justice.  He sat on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1937 until his death in 1971.  Nearly 35 of his 85 years on earth were spent on the Supreme Court.

Hugo Black, like most folks of that era in Alabama history, was born on a farm. Black was from rural Clay County.  He was the youngest child of a large family. He worked his way through the University of Alabama Law School under the tutelage of President George Denny.  He shoveled coal to stoke the furnaces at the University.  He graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

Black began practicing law in Birmingham at 22 years old.  He became a Jefferson County Prosecutor and then World War I broke out.  He served in the war and rose to the rank of Captain.

In 1926, at age 40, Black was elected to the U.S. Senate.  Before that, he had been a practicing labor lawyer and won his seat with the help of organized labor, especially in Birmingham.  He arrived in the Senate at the beginning of the Great Depression.  During his entire tenure in the Senate, America was in the throes of the Depression. Folks who endured this era were marked by it.  It made all Southern politicians progressives and New Dealers. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to the White House in 1932.  His New Deal was the most legendary political accomplishment in American history. Black became one of FDR’s staunchest allies.  He voted for 24 out of 24 of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

Alabama benefitted mightily from FDR’s New Deal, especially rural Alabama and the Tennessee Valley. Roosevelt rewarded Alabama’s junior senator with a coveted seat on the Supreme Court.  He was one of nine justices appointed by President Roosevelt during his 13-year reign as president.  

It is hard today to imagine that Alabama could produce such a liberal judge. However, during this era of American history, Alabama’s congressional delegation was one of the most liberal in the nation due to the fact that they totally embraced FDR and his New Deal.

Black was a liberal New Dealer in the Senate and liberals were pleased by the Justice from Alabama’s tenure over the next 35 years. Liberals regard Black as one of the most influential Supreme Court Justices of the 20th Century.  He hung his hat on the 14th Amendment.

Black was a part of the court decision that declared school racial segregation illegal in the famous Brown v. Board of Education decision.  He was the author of numerous opinions upholding civil rights.  Black was known for his liberal policies and civil liberties. It was interesting and probably unbelievable to most Americans that Alabama’s only contribution to the Supreme Court was one of the most liberal Justices.

In many ways, our current Democratic U.S. Senator, Doug Jones, is very similar to the late Justice Hugo Black.  If truth were known, my guess is that one of Doug Jones’ idols is Hugo Black.

Jones is a Birmingham, pro-labor, civil rights, criminal defense lawyer with a background as a prosecutor.  He was appointed a U.S. Attorney by a Democrat president.  Doug Jones has, throughout his legal career been a national Democrat.

With Jones’s 2017 election to the U.S. Senate, he became and is still a darling superstar among the national Democratic elitists.  He is the only Democratic Senator from the Deep South. The liberal Democrats in California and New York adore and admire him.  Indeed, the vast majority of his campaign money derives from California and New York zip codes. His defeat of the ultra-conservative, anti-gay marriage judge, Roy Moore, has made him a national Democratic rock star.

It is very likely that Democrat Joe Biden could win the White House.  If that occurs, look for Doug Jones as a potential cabinet member. Even though at age 64, Doug Jones is not the ideal choice for a Supreme Court appointment, it is not out of the realm of possibility.

See you next week. 

Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist.  His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers.  He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at:


(1) comment


When I think of Doug Jones being in power as a Democrat I put him in this nice house with every other executioner! He voted for taxpayer funds to be used at Planned Un-Parenthood aka abortion on demand and that makes him a baby killer!! Out of every state that has P.Un-P. a group of investigative journalists called & asked about the alternative services they offered to help if this "young woman" was pregnant but didn't believe in abortion. Could they help her with any other type of services? (Adoption was what she was really wanting to do.) All but one said the only service they provided was abortions and they were allowed to do them at later gestational ages if she changed her mind. The one that said they didn't exactly have a available service's such as she requested because they had never had that type of request said she would call a local adoption attorney when she made up her mind and help her on her own time or get her a number to have for herself. So there's only one purpose for PLANNED PARENTHOOD and that is to KILL BABIES!! Go to the on demand special on abortions @PBS & if you aren't shocked at the reasons for most abortions then I will tell you. Birth control! A single woman with 5 kids all of had been taken away from her because she wouldn't work or provide a place for the kids to safely live. She received a welfare check for each child and medicaid supplement check and she still didn't use it to take care of her kids. Four different father's none in the picture except the last one. She was there to get the abortion and by law they had to tell her she was pregnant with twins well that's all the more reason not to have them. She said I'm trying to get back my 10 month old cause I'm with his father and we don't want anymore, ha ha ha!! Honestly she acted like it was hysterical! This by the way wasn't her 1st abortion! There should be a law for anyone that does as she has and make sure she never has the opportunity to get pregnant again! Then one other then I'm finished, a couple decided they were too young in the career's and didn't want a baby just now, the husband didn't want it, so they did the scan, again she also was carrying twins! That really did hit the wife hard it wasn't like they were so young both about 31 and both with solid career's and had been married 7 yrs.! This abortion on demand is more insidious than I could've ever dreamed when I saw these 2 cases! I knew it would be terrible but I watched it to be informed even though I was heart sick the entire time. I thought that was it. Then I saw how they sell the aborted babies stem cells, brains, bones, and other organs etc for profit to teaching hospitals and experimental treatments for possible cures for a myriad of conditions! God help us all! So when planned parenthood is begging for money it's to pay bigger salaries and to the Democrats shame on you for being the party that enables infanticide to be just another way to procedure that would make Joseph Mengele proud!!

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