Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Answer to trivia

Anonymous (who are you?!) posted the answer late last night -- The youngest federal judge was Thomas Jefferson Boynton, who was 25 when Abraham Lincoln issued him a recess appointment to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on October 19, 1863.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

By now it should be clear that everyone who posts here (except you) is Anonymous, so in a very real sense, everyone answered your trivia question.

Judge Boynton is also remembered as the federal judge who upheld the conviction by a military commission of Dr. Samuel Mudd, because he provided shelter and medical treatment to President Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Ex Parte Mudd, 17 F. Cas. 954 (SD Fla. 1868). In keeping with SDFL tradition (or perhaps in starting it), Judge Boynton denied relief by refusing to apply the Supreme Court's precedent in Ex Parte Milligan, which would have required that a writ of habeas corpus be granted. He reached his decision by refusing to consider the evidence (sound familiar?), even though he knew there was no evidence to convict Dr. Mudd: "It is a matter of public notoriety that some persons, more or less acquainted with the evidence on which these convictions were based, doubt the fair sufficiency of that evidence to necessitate beyond reasonable doubt the conclusion arrived at. But this is a question with which I have nothing to do."

We should be proud.