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Inscriptions brochure, 2nd ed. - District of Massachusetts

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The Artand Craft<strong>of</strong> JusticeA guide tothe stone carvingsand inscriptions <strong>of</strong> theJohn Joseph MoakleyUnit<strong>ed</strong> States Courthouse,Boston, <strong>Massachusetts</strong>


D<strong>ed</strong>icat<strong>ed</strong> to John BensonWhose supervision and execution <strong>of</strong> the stone carvingsand inscriptions <strong>of</strong> the John Joseph Moakley Unit<strong>ed</strong> StatesCourthouse in Boston provide tangible evidence that asingle person making a single thing can do justice with artand craft.On the front cover: Stone carver John Benson applying stain toletters carv<strong>ed</strong> at the main entry to the courthouse.All rights reserv<strong>ed</strong>.The text <strong>of</strong> this publication may be reprint<strong>ed</strong> for <strong>ed</strong>ucational use, not forresale, and for review, without express permission. Otherwise, no part <strong>of</strong>this publication may be reproduc<strong>ed</strong> in any form or by any electronic ormechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems,without permission in writing from the James D. St.Clair Court PublicEducation Project <strong>of</strong> the Boston Bar Foundation, Inc.The Artand Craft<strong>of</strong> JusticeA guide tothe stone carvingsand inscriptions <strong>of</strong> theJohn Joseph MoakleyUnit<strong>ed</strong> States Courthouse,Boston, <strong>Massachusetts</strong>Text and design copyright ©2002, 1998 James D. St.Clair CourtPublic Education Project <strong>of</strong> the Boston Bar Foundation, Inc.Photographs copyright ©2002, 1998 Peter VanderwarkerPhotograph on pages 42–43 copyright ©2001–2002Vin Catania Photographer.All rights reserv<strong>ed</strong>Design<strong>ed</strong> and produc<strong>ed</strong> byVern Associates, Inc.Second <strong>ed</strong>itionThe first <strong>ed</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> this <strong>brochure</strong>, publish<strong>ed</strong> in 1998, was fund<strong>ed</strong> by theBoston Bar Association’s F<strong>ed</strong>eral Court Public Education Project (noworganiz<strong>ed</strong> as the James D. St.Clair Court Public Education Project <strong>of</strong> theBoston Bar Foundation, Inc.) and the <strong>Massachusetts</strong> Chapter <strong>of</strong> the F<strong>ed</strong>eralBar Association.Publication <strong>of</strong> the second <strong>ed</strong>ition <strong>of</strong> this <strong>brochure</strong> was fund<strong>ed</strong> by theAttorney Admission Fund <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States <strong>District</strong> Court for the<strong>District</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Massachusetts</strong> to further public <strong>ed</strong>ucation regarding our nation’slegal system and support the mission <strong>of</strong>:discovering justiceJames D. St.Clair Court Public Education ProjectJohn Joseph Moakley Unit<strong>ed</strong> States Courthouse1 Courthouse WayBoston, <strong>Massachusetts</strong> 02210Introduction byAnthony LewisPhotography byPeter VanderwarkerText byDouglas P. Woodlock


Participating in a DemocraticConversation about the LawWords carv<strong>ed</strong> in stone have adorn<strong>ed</strong> the public buildings<strong>of</strong> democracies since ancient Athens. In this country especiallythe art <strong>of</strong> the stone carver has been us<strong>ed</strong> to express civic ideals.The familiar example is the inscription above the great columns<strong>of</strong> the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC: EQUALJUSTICE UNDER LAW.<strong>Inscriptions</strong> are an important feature <strong>of</strong> the new Unit<strong>ed</strong>States Courthouse in Boston.There are over thirty <strong>of</strong> them,inside and outside the building. Like the motto that theSupreme Court presents to the world, they articulate thehopes—and the commitments—<strong>of</strong> our society.Each <strong>of</strong> the inscriptions is a separate reflection about thelaw.They are history.They are passion.Together they form a discussionabout what the law can and should do in a free society.They are a democratic conversation.Passion is not far below the surface <strong>of</strong> the quotation fromJustice Oliver Wendell Holmes on one wall <strong>of</strong> the Jury AssemblyHall, and it provides an insight into the history <strong>of</strong> the democraticconversation.The quotation is from Holmes’s dissenting opinionin Abrams v. Unit<strong>ed</strong> States, decid<strong>ed</strong> in 1919.The issue wasthis: President Wilson had sent U. S. forces to Russia after theBolshevik Revolution.A group <strong>of</strong> radicals threw pamphletsfrom the ro<strong>of</strong>s <strong>of</strong> buildings in New York City objecting toWilson’s policy. For this insignificant gesture—Holmes call<strong>ed</strong>the unsign<strong>ed</strong> pamphlets “puny anonymities”—group memberswere prosecut<strong>ed</strong> on charges <strong>of</strong> s<strong>ed</strong>ition, convict<strong>ed</strong> and sentenc<strong>ed</strong>to twenty years in prison. In the jingoistic atmosphere <strong>of</strong> WorldWar I, few object<strong>ed</strong>. Moreover, although the First Amendmentto the Constitution forbade Congress to abridge “the fre<strong>ed</strong>om<strong>of</strong> speech,” the Supreme Court had never—not once—invok<strong>ed</strong>the amendment to protect the speech <strong>of</strong> radical dissidents.When the Supreme Court upheld the convictions and savagesentences in the Abrams case, Justice Holmes wrote the firstSupreme Court opinion asserting the fundamental value <strong>of</strong> fre<strong>ed</strong>om<strong>of</strong> speech in our constitutional system. Join<strong>ed</strong> in dissent byJustice Louis D. Brandeis, he began by saying that it was “perfectlylogical” to persecute people for their opinions. If you haveno doubt about your ideas or your power, he said, you “naturally”want to “sweep away all opposition.” But then he went onwith the words present<strong>ed</strong> in rais<strong>ed</strong> lettering on the wall <strong>of</strong> theJury Assembly Hall, urging that truth is better reach<strong>ed</strong> by “freetrade in ideas.”And still his judicial passion was not spent.“That at any rate is the theory <strong>of</strong> our constitution,” Holmeswrote.“It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. . . .Whilethat experiment is part <strong>of</strong> our system I think that we should beeternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression <strong>of</strong>opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death.”What extraordinary language. But wasn’t it wast<strong>ed</strong> in a dissentingopinion? Not at all. Courts that apply in concrete casesthe majestic generalities <strong>of</strong> the Constitution—“fre<strong>ed</strong>om <strong>of</strong>speech,”“equal protection <strong>of</strong> the laws”—can be mov<strong>ed</strong> tochange their understanding by wisdom and experience.And dissentingopinions are part <strong>of</strong> that process.For a decade after the Abrams decision, the Supreme Courtcontinu<strong>ed</strong> to uphold the repression <strong>of</strong> radical speakers withHolmes and Brandeis dissenting.They were as eloquent asPericles in their defense <strong>of</strong> liberty. Inde<strong>ed</strong>, Brandeis was influenc<strong>ed</strong>by Pericles’ funeral oration to the ancient Athenians in his1927 opinion in Whitney v. California, a passage from whichappears on the wall opposite the Holmes quotation in the JuryAssembly Hall. Gradually their eloquence persuad<strong>ed</strong> the countryand the Court.Their passion has become the orthodox view<strong>of</strong> the First Amendment.There is a paradox in the American political system, andthere always has been.We live in a democracy, and we elect ourlegislators and executives, f<strong>ed</strong>eral and state. But the Constitutionputs limits on what elect<strong>ed</strong> politicians can do.And judges <strong>of</strong>tenmust decide, from case to case, where those limits are.They doso, over time, in a conversation among themselves and withlawyers and the public.That is the conversation overheardamong the stone carvings and inscriptions <strong>of</strong> this building. It is aconversation in which all those encountering these inscriptionsare invit<strong>ed</strong> to participate.The paradox is more apparent than real, for the worldlearn<strong>ed</strong>, in the twentieth century, that democracy is not safewithout protection <strong>of</strong> fundamental rights.And so countriesaround the world, from Ireland to South Africa, have copi<strong>ed</strong> theAmerican system <strong>of</strong> judicially enforceable constitutional rights.It is an experiment, Holmes said, as all life is an experiment.But it has work<strong>ed</strong> for more than two hundr<strong>ed</strong> years.—Anthony Lewis, August 1998(Anthony Lewis, a columnist for the New York Times, has written extensivelyabout the Supreme Court <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States.)– 4–– 5–


John AdamsIn the spring <strong>of</strong> 1776, as the leading figures from theAmerican colonies began to prepare for consideration by theContinental Congress <strong>of</strong> the question whether to declareindependence from the British Crown, John Adams wrote apamphlet entitl<strong>ed</strong> Thoughts on Government.Adams was a <strong>Massachusetts</strong> lawyer who would becomethe first Vice President and the second President <strong>of</strong> theUnit<strong>ed</strong> States. In the passage from the pamphlet that isinscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet, plac<strong>ed</strong> at the entrance to the courthouse,Adamscontend<strong>ed</strong> that society depends upon competenceand integrity in the administration <strong>of</strong> justice. In thisconnection, he argu<strong>ed</strong> for a separation <strong>of</strong> powers:“Thejudicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislativeand the executive, and independent <strong>of</strong> both, that so it may bea check upon both, as both should be checks upon that.”The distinctiveness <strong>of</strong> the judicial power,Adams maintain<strong>ed</strong>,requires that the judges’“minds should not be distract<strong>ed</strong> withjarring interests; they should not be dependent upon anyman or body <strong>of</strong> men.”The principles <strong>of</strong> government Adams outlin<strong>ed</strong> in hispamphlet—the separation <strong>of</strong> powers and judicial independence—wereembodi<strong>ed</strong> in the <strong>Massachusetts</strong> Constitution <strong>of</strong>1780, <strong>of</strong> which he was the principal draftsman, and theConstitution <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States, which was draft<strong>ed</strong> sevenyears later.Lelia Josephine RobinsonIn 1881, when Lelia Josephine Robinson graduat<strong>ed</strong> cumlaude from Boston University Law School, she rank<strong>ed</strong> fourthin her class. Her academic success bod<strong>ed</strong> well for success as alawyer, but she fac<strong>ed</strong> a significant hurdle: No woman hadever been admitt<strong>ed</strong> to practice law by the courts <strong>of</strong><strong>Massachusetts</strong>.The Supreme Judicial Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>Massachusetts</strong> invit<strong>ed</strong>Robinson to prepare a brief in support <strong>of</strong> her application tobe a lawyer. Because she was not a member <strong>of</strong> the bar, however,she was not permitt<strong>ed</strong> to present oral argument. In anopinion by Chief Justice Horace Gray, who would later beappoint<strong>ed</strong> to serve as an associate justice <strong>of</strong> the SupremeCourt <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States, the highest court <strong>of</strong><strong>Massachusetts</strong> unanimously reject<strong>ed</strong> Robinson’s application,relying on the failure <strong>of</strong> the state legislature to provideexpressly that women could become members <strong>of</strong> the bar.The opinion <strong>of</strong> the Supreme Judicial Court denying theadmission <strong>of</strong> women to the practice <strong>of</strong> law was spe<strong>ed</strong>ilyrevers<strong>ed</strong> by the <strong>Massachusetts</strong> legislature, which affirm<strong>ed</strong> theargument Robinson made in her brief, an excerpt <strong>of</strong> whichis inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet at the entrance to the courthouse.To obtain the consent <strong>of</strong> all segments <strong>of</strong> society in the rule<strong>of</strong> law, the entire community must have the right to participatein the process <strong>of</strong> administering justice.– 6– – 7–


William CushingSeven years after the adoption <strong>of</strong> the Declaration <strong>of</strong>Independence, which asserts that all men are creat<strong>ed</strong> equal,slavery continu<strong>ed</strong> to be practic<strong>ed</strong> throughout the Unit<strong>ed</strong>States; <strong>Massachusetts</strong> was no exception.As a consequence, aWorcester County slaveowner assum<strong>ed</strong> he was on solid legalground when he defend<strong>ed</strong> against a criminal case thatcharg<strong>ed</strong> him with the assault and battery <strong>of</strong> Quock Walker,one <strong>of</strong> his slaves.The slaveowner argu<strong>ed</strong> his right to treat his“property” in any way he chose.Chief Justice William Cushing <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Massachusetts</strong>Supreme Judicial Court held that slavery had been effectivelyabolish<strong>ed</strong> in 1780, when <strong>Massachusetts</strong> adopt<strong>ed</strong> its newconstitution. In the passage inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet, Cushingparaphras<strong>ed</strong> the language <strong>of</strong> fre<strong>ed</strong>om and equality found inthe Declaration <strong>of</strong> Independence.At the core <strong>of</strong> Cushing’sholding is the proposition that it is the obligation <strong>of</strong> thecourts to protect the liberties <strong>of</strong> every person.Cushing later became the first justice from <strong>Massachusetts</strong>to sit on the Supreme Court <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States, whenPresident Washington made the initial appointments to thatCourt following the passage <strong>of</strong> the Judiciary Act <strong>of</strong> 1789. In1795 he declin<strong>ed</strong> Washington’s appointment as Chief Justicebut serv<strong>ed</strong> as an Associate Justice until his death in 1810.Sarah M. GrimkéSarah Grimké was born to a wealthy, aristocratic, andconservative family in South Carolina, where her fatherserv<strong>ed</strong> as the equivalent <strong>of</strong> the chief justice <strong>of</strong> the state.Yet she and her sister Angelina became among the mostprominent voices calling for the abolition <strong>of</strong> slavery andthe equality <strong>of</strong> persons.Facing intense opposition to abolition in their nativeSouth, the Grimké sisters mov<strong>ed</strong> to the North, where theywere highly influential abolitionist lecturers. But prejudicesagainst the appearance <strong>of</strong> women on public platforms result<strong>ed</strong>in a veil<strong>ed</strong> attack on their work in a pastoral letter issu<strong>ed</strong>by the General Association <strong>of</strong> Congregational Ministers <strong>of</strong><strong>Massachusetts</strong>, which decri<strong>ed</strong> women preachers and womenreformers.This opposition l<strong>ed</strong> Sarah Grimké to broaden thefocus <strong>of</strong> the abolition movement to include a defense <strong>of</strong>women’s rights.In her reply to the ministers, part <strong>of</strong> which is inscrib<strong>ed</strong> onthis tablet, Sarah Grimké emphasiz<strong>ed</strong> the equality <strong>of</strong> men andwomen. By extending the language <strong>of</strong> equality found in theDeclaration <strong>of</strong> Independence and in Chief Justice Cushing’sQuock Walker decision striking down slavery in <strong>Massachusetts</strong>,Sarah Grimké underscor<strong>ed</strong> the shar<strong>ed</strong> rights and responsibilities<strong>of</strong> all persons for the creation <strong>of</strong> a moral community.– 8–– 9–


Fr<strong>ed</strong>erick DouglassBorn a slave in Maryland, Fr<strong>ed</strong>erick Douglass escap<strong>ed</strong>from slavery in 1838 and mov<strong>ed</strong> to New B<strong>ed</strong>ford, <strong>Massachusetts</strong>.He soon became an orator for the <strong>Massachusetts</strong>Anti-Slavery Society. A powerful and commanding presence,Douglass argu<strong>ed</strong> for the emancipation <strong>of</strong> slaves and forequality <strong>of</strong> social, economic, and spiritual opportunities.Douglass was actively involv<strong>ed</strong> in recruiting black mento be soldiers during the Civil War and assist<strong>ed</strong> in recruitingthe celebrat<strong>ed</strong> 54th and 55th <strong>Massachusetts</strong> African-American regiments, in which his own sons were amongthe first recruits.After the Civil War, Douglass became theUnit<strong>ed</strong> States Marshal for the <strong>District</strong> <strong>of</strong> Columbia and theUnit<strong>ed</strong> States Minister to Haiti.In a speech given on the twenty-fourth anniversary <strong>of</strong>the emancipation <strong>of</strong> the slaves <strong>of</strong> the <strong>District</strong> <strong>of</strong> Columbia, apassage from which is quot<strong>ed</strong> in the inscription on thistablet, Douglass warn<strong>ed</strong> that when the law permits any segment<strong>of</strong> society to feel disenfranchis<strong>ed</strong>, the very foundations<strong>of</strong> justice—the security <strong>of</strong> persons and property—are put atrisk.Thus, in order to avoid undermining those foundations,the law must strive to assure equal opportunity for all segments<strong>of</strong> society.Oliver Wendell HolmesWhile he was a Justice <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Massachusetts</strong> SupremeJudicial Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes deliver<strong>ed</strong> one <strong>of</strong> themost influential speeches in the history <strong>of</strong> law,“The Path <strong>of</strong>the Law,” at the Boston University Law School. Later publish<strong>ed</strong>in the Harvard Law Review, the speech had a bracingeffect on American legal thought.In the passage inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet, Holmes describ<strong>ed</strong>the growth <strong>of</strong> the law as a reflection <strong>of</strong> the moral values <strong>of</strong>the society. Using a geological metaphor, he identifi<strong>ed</strong> waysin which different generations and societies leave evidence<strong>of</strong> their moral value systems through their expressions <strong>of</strong> thelaw. But Holmes was careful to distinguish between hisdescription <strong>of</strong> the law as evidence <strong>of</strong> society’s values and theproposition that what is legal is moral or what is illegal isimmoral. He argu<strong>ed</strong> instead for a clear-ey<strong>ed</strong> analysis <strong>of</strong> thelegal process through which the courts bring public force tobear in order to resolve controversies and thereby evidencethe moral values <strong>of</strong> their communities.Holmes was appoint<strong>ed</strong> by President Theodore Rooseveltto the Supreme Court <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States in 1902, wherehe serv<strong>ed</strong> until 1932.– 10 – – 11 –


Louis D. BrandeisThe responsibility <strong>of</strong> the government to act in an exemplaryfashion in all its dealings with all its citizens, particularlyin protecting their privacy rights, was frequently emphasiz<strong>ed</strong>by Justice Louis D. Brandeis, whom President WoodrowWilson appoint<strong>ed</strong> to the Supreme Court in 1916, where heserv<strong>ed</strong> until 1939.While a lawyer in private practice inBoston, Brandeis had written an influential law review articleconcerning the right <strong>of</strong> privacy.The passage inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on thistablet is from his opinion in Olmstead v. Unit<strong>ed</strong> States, whereBrandeis dissent<strong>ed</strong> from a Supreme Court decision thatupheld the use <strong>of</strong> illegal wiretapping to develop evidence <strong>of</strong>criminal activity.Brandeis wrote that,“[i]n a government <strong>of</strong> laws, existence<strong>of</strong> the government will be imperil<strong>ed</strong> if it fails to observe thelaw scrupulously.” He went on to observe that,“[i]f theGovernment becomes a lawbreaker, it bre<strong>ed</strong>s contempt forlaw; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; itinvites anarchy.” Brandeis therefore maintain<strong>ed</strong> that the governmentmust be held to high standards in providing anexample for the rest <strong>of</strong> society.Felix FrankfurterDuring the controversy that l<strong>ed</strong> President Eisenhower tocall out paratroopers to implement judicial orders <strong>of</strong> theUnit<strong>ed</strong> States <strong>District</strong> Court in Arkansas, which were aim<strong>ed</strong>toward desegregating the Little Rock schools, the SupremeCourt took the unprec<strong>ed</strong>ent<strong>ed</strong> step <strong>of</strong> issuing a unanimousopinion in Cooper v.Aaron, which was sign<strong>ed</strong> separately byeach <strong>of</strong> the Justices upholding those orders.Shortly thereafter, Justice Felix Frankfurter—who hadbeen a pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> law at the Harvard Law School prior tohis appointment in 1939 to the Supreme Court by PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt—wrote a separate opinion in the casethat specifically address<strong>ed</strong> the responsibilities <strong>of</strong> communityleaders during times <strong>of</strong> crisis.The passage from that opinioninscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet instructs that it is the duty <strong>of</strong> civicleadership in such times “to find specific ways to surmountdifficulties” in upholding the rule <strong>of</strong> law.Noting that compliance with decisions <strong>of</strong> the SupremeCourt,“as the constitutional organ <strong>of</strong> the supreme Law <strong>of</strong>the Land, has <strong>of</strong>ten, throughout our history, depend<strong>ed</strong> onactive support by state and local authorities,” Frankfurter,who serv<strong>ed</strong> on the Supreme Court until 1962, urg<strong>ed</strong> thatthe nation’s shar<strong>ed</strong> “moral heritage” should provide a basisfor defusing opposition to the Court’s rulings.– 12 –– 13 –


William H. MoodyJohn F. Kenn<strong>ed</strong>yFive months before his assassination, President John F.Kenn<strong>ed</strong>y was requir<strong>ed</strong> to call out the National Guard tocarry out an order <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States <strong>District</strong> Court inAlabama that direct<strong>ed</strong> the admission to the University <strong>of</strong>Alabama <strong>of</strong> two qualifi<strong>ed</strong> Alabama residents, who happen<strong>ed</strong>to be African-American. President Kenn<strong>ed</strong>y’s speech fromthe Oval Office explaining that decision invok<strong>ed</strong> the moraldimensions to the law.In the passage inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet, President Kenn<strong>ed</strong>yequat<strong>ed</strong> equal justice under law with the golden rule. Heidentifi<strong>ed</strong> the problem as whether “all Americans are to beafford<strong>ed</strong> equal rights and opportunities,” terming the issue“as old as the scriptures and as clear as the AmericanConstitution.”President Kenn<strong>ed</strong>y’s speech announc<strong>ed</strong> the submission toCongress <strong>of</strong> what would become, after his assassination, theCivil Rights Act <strong>of</strong> 1964.That statute, perhaps the mostimportant civil rights measure <strong>of</strong> the twentieth century, providesa legislative basis for equal opportunity for all citizens.But President Kenn<strong>ed</strong>y caution<strong>ed</strong> that “legislation cannotsolve this problem alone. It must be solv<strong>ed</strong> in the homes <strong>of</strong>every American in every community across our country.”The legal process for controll<strong>ed</strong> resolution <strong>of</strong> controversiesthrough trial in the courts is the mechanism civiliz<strong>ed</strong>societies have establish<strong>ed</strong> to avoid resort to such self-helprem<strong>ed</strong>ies as vengeance and retribution.William H. Moody,who was appoint<strong>ed</strong> to the Supreme Court <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong>States in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, captur<strong>ed</strong>this dimension <strong>of</strong> the legal process in this passage from hisopinion in Chambers v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.Moody was himself a skill<strong>ed</strong> courtroom advocate whoserv<strong>ed</strong> as a <strong>Massachusetts</strong> district attorney and was appoint<strong>ed</strong>to the Supreme Court while he was serving as Unit<strong>ed</strong> StatesAttorney General. His tenure on the Supreme Court wascut short barely two years later, however, when he develop<strong>ed</strong>a disabling illness.The right to conduct litigation, Moody wrote,“is one <strong>of</strong>the highest and most essential privileges <strong>of</strong> citizenship, andmust be allow<strong>ed</strong> by each State to the citizens <strong>of</strong> all otherStates to the precise extent that it is allow<strong>ed</strong> to its own citizens.”This equality <strong>of</strong> access to the process <strong>of</strong> litigation is socritical to the f<strong>ed</strong>eral system that he found it protect<strong>ed</strong> bythe Unit<strong>ed</strong> States Constitution.– 14 –– 15 –


Felix FrankfurterThe most basic elements <strong>of</strong> a fair legal proce<strong>ed</strong>ing consist<strong>of</strong> identifying the issues at stake clearly and providing theinterest<strong>ed</strong> parties an opportunity to address those issues.Those elements were disregard<strong>ed</strong> in certain proce<strong>ed</strong>ingsthat were conduct<strong>ed</strong> to address concerns about this nation’sinternal security at the beginning <strong>of</strong> the Cold War followingWorld War II.In the passage from his separate opinion in Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath,Attorney General that isinscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet, Justice Frankfurter emphasiz<strong>ed</strong> thevalue <strong>of</strong> notice and the opportunity to be heard as mechanismsfor discovering truth. Frankfurter maintain<strong>ed</strong> that use<strong>of</strong> these mechanisms was critical for “generating the feeling,so important to a popular government, that justice has beendone.”For a democratic society, Frankfurter wrote,“the validityand moral authority <strong>of</strong> a conclusion largely depend on themode by which it was reach<strong>ed</strong>.” He warn<strong>ed</strong> that a fairprocess is especially critical “at times <strong>of</strong> agitation and anxiety,when fear and suspicion impregnate the air we breathe.”Frankfurter observ<strong>ed</strong> that “appearances in the dark are apt tolook different in the light <strong>of</strong> day,” because “secrecy is notcongenial to truth-seeking.”Barbara JordanBarbara Jordan, the congresswoman from Texas whospoke so powerfully and eloquently during her tenure as amember <strong>of</strong> the Judiciary Committee <strong>of</strong> the House <strong>of</strong>Representatives that consider<strong>ed</strong> articles <strong>of</strong> impeachmentagainst President Richard Nixon in 1974, was a graduate <strong>of</strong>the Boston University Law School. Her memorable remarksat the opening <strong>of</strong> the committee’s proce<strong>ed</strong>ings captur<strong>ed</strong> thepr<strong>of</strong>ound personal responsibility <strong>of</strong> those addressing thatconstitutional crisis.“I am not going to sit here and be anidle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction<strong>of</strong> the Constitution,” she said.Jordan’s last public appearance before her death onJanuary 17, 1996, was at a gathering in her honor <strong>of</strong> BostonUniversity Law School alumni. In the brief remarksinscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet regarding the role <strong>of</strong> the lawyer,Jordan urg<strong>ed</strong> those involv<strong>ed</strong> in the legal process to remainfaithful to their larger community and to practice their pr<strong>of</strong>essionwith measur<strong>ed</strong> advice for their clients.The counsel provid<strong>ed</strong> by Jordan is particularly importantfor parties engag<strong>ed</strong> in the strains and antagonisms <strong>of</strong> theadversary process. It has purposefully been position<strong>ed</strong> to bethe last quotation encounter<strong>ed</strong> by persons passing throughsecurity into the courthouse itself.– 16 –– 17 –


Entrance StairwaysThe inscriptions at the stairways from the Old NorthernAvenue and Harborpark entrances to the main public floor<strong>of</strong> the courthouse are drawn from addresses by two greatjustices <strong>of</strong> the Supreme Court <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States from<strong>Massachusetts</strong>—Louis D. Brandeis and Oliver WendellHolmes. Each was deliver<strong>ed</strong> shortly before the speaker leftthe practice <strong>of</strong> law to become a judge.At the stairway in the main-entry rotunda is a handcarv<strong>ed</strong>inscription <strong>of</strong> a portion <strong>of</strong> a speech by LouisBrandeis concerning an issue <strong>of</strong> complex economics, a topicwith which Brandeis grappl<strong>ed</strong> throughout his career. Bycasting the issue as one <strong>of</strong> justice and truth, however,Brandeis characteristically rais<strong>ed</strong> the discussion above mereeconomics. In the speech, Brandeis told his audience that“we cannot expect to have justice done unless we have amind that is free to act on such facts as may be present<strong>ed</strong>.”By locating the inscription from Brandeis at the base <strong>of</strong> thestairway leading up to the entrances to the courtrooms, thefact-finding role <strong>of</strong> the courts in the pursuit <strong>of</strong> justice isemphasiz<strong>ed</strong>.A hand-carv<strong>ed</strong> inscription from a series <strong>of</strong> lectures OliverWendell Holmes gave shortly before his appointment to theSupreme Judicial Court <strong>of</strong> <strong>Massachusetts</strong> is locat<strong>ed</strong> at thestairway at the entry from the Harborpark. Holmes demonstratesa more historical and philosophical conception <strong>of</strong> thelaw than the fact-intensive approach <strong>of</strong> Brandeis. Holmesdid not reject logic, but rather explain<strong>ed</strong> later in the lecturethat “the felt necessities <strong>of</strong> the time, the prevalent moral andpolitical theories, intuitions <strong>of</strong> public policy, avow<strong>ed</strong> orunconscious, even the prejudices which judges share withtheir fellow-men, have had a good deal more to do than thesyllogism in determining the rules by which men should begovern<strong>ed</strong>.” He went on to observe that “in order to knowwhat [the law] is, we must know what it has been and whatit tends to become.” By locating the inscription fromHolmes at the base <strong>of</strong> the stairway from the Harborpark, therole <strong>of</strong> society’s shar<strong>ed</strong> experience outside the courthouse inshaping the law is emphasiz<strong>ed</strong>.– 18 –– 19 –


Jury Assembly HallThe purpose <strong>of</strong> the American jury is to provide a calmand reason<strong>ed</strong> evaluation—by a fair cross section <strong>of</strong> the community—<strong>of</strong>the disput<strong>ed</strong> factual issues emb<strong>ed</strong>d<strong>ed</strong> in legalcontroversies. Plac<strong>ed</strong> in rais<strong>ed</strong> lettering in the jury assemblyhall are quotations from Justices Holmes and Brandeisencouraging full and tolerant discussion.On the shorter wall is a passage from a dissent by JusticeHolmes to a decision <strong>of</strong> the Supreme Court that upheld theprosecution <strong>of</strong> political dissidents.The core principle inpolitical discussion identifi<strong>ed</strong> by Holmes is that “the ultimategood desir<strong>ed</strong> is better reach<strong>ed</strong> by free trade in ideas.”On the long wall is a passage from an opinion by JusticeBrandeis in Whitney v. California, a Supreme Court caseinvolving another prosecution <strong>of</strong> political dissent. Drawinghis inspiration from Pericles’ oration to the Athenians in thefifth century BC, Justice Brandeis outlines in eloquent andpassionate prose the fundamental elements <strong>of</strong> our nation’spolitical philosophy. He concludes by observing “that thegreatest menace to fre<strong>ed</strong>om is an inert people” and “thatpublic discussion is a political duty.”These passages are design<strong>ed</strong> to shape the attitudes <strong>of</strong>those assembl<strong>ed</strong> in this room and to encourage the openmind<strong>ed</strong>deliberative process requir<strong>ed</strong> <strong>of</strong> juries and, inde<strong>ed</strong>, <strong>of</strong>all those concern<strong>ed</strong> with the public’s business.– 20 –– 21 –


Jury Assembly Hall <strong>Inscriptions</strong> —Oliver Wendell HolmesDetail <strong>of</strong> oil painting <strong>of</strong> Justice Holmes by Charles Sidney HopkinsonCourtesy <strong>of</strong> Art & Visual Materials, Special Collections Department,Harvard Law School Library– 22 –– 23 –


<strong>Inscriptions</strong> at the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States CourthouseBoston, <strong>Massachusetts</strong>Old Northern AvenueJohn Adams................page 6Leila Josephine Robinson ......7Wlliam Cushing ................8Sarah M. Grimké...............9Fr<strong>ed</strong>erick Douglass ............10Oliver Wendell Holmes.......11Louis D. Brandeis .............12Felix Frankfurter ..............13John F. Kenn<strong>ed</strong>y...............14Entrance HallWilliam H. Moody ...........15Felix Frankfurter..............16Barbara Jordan.................17Entrance StairwaysLouis D.Brandeis (Rotunda) 18–19Oliver Wendell Holmes(Harborpark Entry) ..........18–19Jury Assembly Hall (2d floor)Oliver Wendell Holmes......22–23Louis D.Brandeis .............26–27Daniel Webster and theRegistry <strong>of</strong> Designers andBuilders ......................40–41Congressman MoakleyD<strong>ed</strong>ication Plaque..................45Harborpark EntryStephen Breyer................46–47Courthouse WayThe Declaration <strong>of</strong>Independence .......................29The Unit<strong>ed</strong> States Constitution:The Preamble...................30The First Amendment ........31The Fourteenth Amendment.32The Fourth Amendment......33The Sixth Amendent ..34(a&b)East ParkThe Constitution <strong>of</strong>Puerto Rico .........................35The Constitution <strong>of</strong>Rhode Island .......................36The Constitution <strong>of</strong><strong>Massachusetts</strong>.......................36The Constitution <strong>of</strong>New Hampshire ...................38The Constitution <strong>of</strong> Maine ......38Abigail Adams .....................28CourthouseLawn46-47283838East Park36363526-27JuryAssembly Hall22-23HarborparkEntry8918-191040-41Numbers on map refer to pagenumbers in this <strong>brochure</strong>.1112Old Northern Avenue13147MainEntry41451516176 293031323334a34bCourthouse Way


Jury Assembly Hall <strong>Inscriptions</strong> —Louis D. BrandeisDetail <strong>of</strong> oil painting <strong>of</strong> Justice Brandeis by Eben F. CominsCourtesy <strong>of</strong> Art & Visual Materials, Special Collections Department,Harvard Law School Library– 26 –– 27 –


Abigail Adams(Left) John Adams maintain<strong>ed</strong> a lively correspondencewith his wife Abigail throughout the period they wereseparat<strong>ed</strong> while he attend<strong>ed</strong> to his work on the business <strong>of</strong>the new nation. He consult<strong>ed</strong> with her on all manner <strong>of</strong>issues and consequently sent her a copy <strong>of</strong> the Declaration<strong>of</strong> Independence after it was complet<strong>ed</strong> the week <strong>of</strong> July 4,1776.In the passage from the letter inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet,Abigail Adams reflects upon the importance <strong>of</strong> a firm foundationto assure a sound government. Her prayer for such adurable basis to the nation’s political structure has largelybeen realiz<strong>ed</strong> through the basic documents <strong>of</strong> Americanpolitical life: the Declaration <strong>of</strong> Independence, theConstitution <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States, and the constitutions <strong>of</strong>the several states.The Declaration <strong>of</strong> Independence(Right) The colonists who met in Philadelphia in 1776 todeclare their independence from the British Crown feltobligat<strong>ed</strong> to explain what they were doing.The drafting <strong>of</strong>their Declaration was delegat<strong>ed</strong> to a committee compris<strong>ed</strong><strong>of</strong> Thomas Jefferson together with John Adams, BenjaminFranklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman.Jefferson prepar<strong>ed</strong> the original draft, which was review<strong>ed</strong> bythe committee before it was present<strong>ed</strong> to Congress on June28, where revisions were made before its final adoption onJuly 4.The passage inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet is from the secondparagraph <strong>of</strong> the Declaration. It sets forth the fundamentalprinciples <strong>of</strong> American government: equality, unalienablerights, and a government whose authority depends on theconsent <strong>of</strong> those govern<strong>ed</strong>.– 28 –– 29 –


The Constitution:The Preamble(Left) The drafters <strong>of</strong> the Constitution <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong>States understood that an overview—or preamble—shouldset forth succinctly, but eloquently, the purposes <strong>of</strong> the organizingdocument for the new nation.The full preamble tothe Constitution is inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet.The preamble begins with an identification <strong>of</strong> theauthors as “We the People,” emphasizing the full engagement<strong>of</strong> all members <strong>of</strong> the community in the process <strong>of</strong>creating the new government.After noting the ne<strong>ed</strong> toimprove upon the national government creat<strong>ed</strong> under theArticles <strong>of</strong> Conf<strong>ed</strong>eration and to create “a more perfectunion” <strong>of</strong> the states, the preamble announces the first goal<strong>of</strong> the new Constitution to be that <strong>of</strong> establishing justice.The First Amendment(Right) The First Amendment <strong>of</strong> the Constitution, whichis inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet, sets forth the rights <strong>of</strong> the peopleto gather together, to exercise fre<strong>ed</strong>om <strong>of</strong> speech, and to befree from the constraints <strong>of</strong> an establish<strong>ed</strong> religion.At thecore <strong>of</strong> the First Amendment is the right <strong>of</strong> the people toassemble peaceably and seek from their government aresponse to their ne<strong>ed</strong>s and concerns.The First Amendment, as with all <strong>of</strong> the first ten amendmentsto the Constitution—known collectively as the Bill <strong>of</strong>Rights—was a direct response to the desire on the part <strong>of</strong>the states that ratifi<strong>ed</strong> the original Constitution to makeexplicit the rights <strong>of</strong> the people secur<strong>ed</strong> against the f<strong>ed</strong>eralgovernment.– 30 –– 31 –


The Fourteenth Amendment(Left) Imm<strong>ed</strong>iately following the Civil War, the ReconstructionCongress sought to realign the relations <strong>of</strong> theindividual states to the f<strong>ed</strong>eral government.The FourteenthAmendment to the Constitution, a portion <strong>of</strong> which isinscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet, fundamentally alter<strong>ed</strong> the balance <strong>of</strong>power between the states and the national government.The states became expressly obligat<strong>ed</strong> by the f<strong>ed</strong>eral governmentto provide due process whenever they undertookto deprive a person <strong>of</strong> life, liberty, or property.The stateswere similarly requir<strong>ed</strong> to provide equal protection <strong>of</strong> thelaw to any person within their jurisdiction. Over the years,many <strong>of</strong> the rights secur<strong>ed</strong> against the f<strong>ed</strong>eral governmentby the first ten amendments to the Constitution were incorporat<strong>ed</strong>into the requirements the Fourteenth Amendmentimpos<strong>ed</strong> upon the states.The Fourth Amendment(Right) The right <strong>of</strong> privacy is protect<strong>ed</strong> by the FourthAmendment to the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States Constitution.This limitsthe ability <strong>of</strong> the government to engage in searches andseizures.The Fourth Amendment, a portion <strong>of</strong> which isinscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet, requires that any search be reasonable.In a separate section, the obligations <strong>of</strong> the governmentin obtaining a search or seizure warrant are describ<strong>ed</strong>.These protections were among the most important forwhich the American Revolution was fought.The ability <strong>of</strong>the British Crown to obtain general warrants for searcheshad constitut<strong>ed</strong> a fundamental concern for the Americancolonists.When, shortly after the adoption <strong>of</strong> the Constitution,they came to draft their Bill <strong>of</strong> Rights, they madesure to provide explicit protections against such arbitrarygovernment power through this addition to theConstitution.– 32 –– 33 –


The Sixth Amendment(Above and below) The Sixth Amendment to the Constitutionprovides protections for persons accus<strong>ed</strong> <strong>of</strong> crime.Those protections are design<strong>ed</strong> to ensure a fair, open, andprompt disposition <strong>of</strong> any criminal chargeThe Constitution <strong>of</strong> Puerto RicoIn 1915, Congress gave the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States Court <strong>of</strong>Appeals for the First Circuit, headquarter<strong>ed</strong> in Boston, jurisdictionover certain appeals from what was then theTerritory <strong>of</strong> Puerto Rico. In 1952, the people <strong>of</strong> PuertoRico enact<strong>ed</strong> a constitution and organiz<strong>ed</strong> their own government.Theirconstitution transform<strong>ed</strong> Puerto Rico froma Unit<strong>ed</strong> States territory into a commonwealth. In the passagefrom the constitution’s preamble inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on thistablet, the basic principles <strong>of</strong> popular sovereignty, individualrights, and participatory government that lie at the center <strong>of</strong>the democratic system are declar<strong>ed</strong> fundamental to the government<strong>of</strong> Puerto Rico.– 34 –– 35 –


The Constitution <strong>of</strong> Rhode IslandIn 1790, Rhode Island became the last <strong>of</strong> the originalthirteen states to ratify the Constitution <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States.Once it join<strong>ed</strong> the union, its f<strong>ed</strong>eral courts were assign<strong>ed</strong> towhat became the First Circuit.The passage inscrib<strong>ed</strong> onthis tablet is excerpt<strong>ed</strong> from Section 2 <strong>of</strong> Rhode Island’sDeclaration <strong>of</strong> Certain Constitutional Rights and Principles.It recognizes that the obligation <strong>of</strong> governmentto secure the common good and to allocate equitably theobligations <strong>of</strong> the state form the foundation <strong>of</strong> the government<strong>of</strong> Rhode Island.The Constitution <strong>of</strong> <strong>Massachusetts</strong>When <strong>Massachusetts</strong> prepar<strong>ed</strong> its post-revolutionaryconstitution in 1780, the first part <strong>of</strong> the document was theDeclaration <strong>of</strong> Rights <strong>of</strong> the Inhabitants <strong>of</strong> the Commonwealth<strong>of</strong> <strong>Massachusetts</strong>.The <strong>Massachusetts</strong> constitutiontreats the impartial interpretation <strong>of</strong> the laws by an independentjudiciary as essential to the rights <strong>of</strong> its people.Theemphasis <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Massachusetts</strong> constitution on an impartialand independent judiciary became a model for the f<strong>ed</strong>eralConstitution, which was ratifi<strong>ed</strong> by <strong>Massachusetts</strong> in 1788.In 1789, <strong>Massachusetts</strong> became one <strong>of</strong> the initial jurisdictionswithin what became the First Circuit <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong>States courts.– 36 –– 37 –


The Constitution <strong>of</strong> New HampshireThe New Hampshire Bill <strong>of</strong> Rights, enact<strong>ed</strong> in 1784, containsthe passage inscrib<strong>ed</strong> on this tablet.The several virtues th<strong>ed</strong>rafters <strong>of</strong> the New Hampshire constitution believ<strong>ed</strong> to benecessary for good government are describ<strong>ed</strong>. In 1788, NewHampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Unit<strong>ed</strong> StatesConstitution. Because the Constitution became effective uponthe acceptance by nine states, New Hampshire’s vote was thefinal one ne<strong>ed</strong><strong>ed</strong> for ratification. New Hampshire has been amember <strong>of</strong> what has become the First Circuit since the FirstJudiciary Act <strong>of</strong> 1789.The Constitution <strong>of</strong> MaineWhen the Constitution <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States was ratifi<strong>ed</strong>,Maine was a part <strong>of</strong> <strong>Massachusetts</strong>, but it became a separatestate in 1820 when the voters <strong>of</strong> the district <strong>of</strong> Maine support<strong>ed</strong>separation from <strong>Massachusetts</strong>. It imm<strong>ed</strong>iately join<strong>ed</strong>the First Circuit <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States courts when it elect<strong>ed</strong>statehood.In this passage, which was enact<strong>ed</strong>—in slightly differentform—in the original Constitution <strong>of</strong> Maine as an element<strong>of</strong> its Declaration <strong>of</strong> Rights, Maine emphasizes the ideal <strong>of</strong>open courts accessible to all persons and providing justicewithout corruption or delay.– 38 –– 39 –


The registry embodies a permanentrecognition <strong>of</strong> all those who, through theirart and craft, have provid<strong>ed</strong> tangible evidence<strong>of</strong> the proposition present<strong>ed</strong> by DanielWebster in his reflection on the life andwork <strong>of</strong> a great f<strong>ed</strong>eral judge from<strong>Massachusetts</strong>.Daniel Webster and theRegistry <strong>of</strong> Designers and BuildersWhen Joseph Story, the great Justice <strong>of</strong> the SupremeCourt <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States from <strong>Massachusetts</strong>, di<strong>ed</strong> in1845, Unit<strong>ed</strong> States Senator Daniel Webster, then leader <strong>of</strong>the <strong>Massachusetts</strong> bar, was call<strong>ed</strong> upon to deliver memorialremarks.The final tablet that a visitor to the courthouseencounters before leaving the building through the maindoors to Old Northern Avenue is inscrib<strong>ed</strong> with Webster’sfamous description <strong>of</strong> justice as “the great interest <strong>of</strong> man onearth,” which is excerpt<strong>ed</strong> from his memorial speech.That speech also employ<strong>ed</strong> the metaphor <strong>of</strong> constructionand architecture as descriptive <strong>of</strong> the law.Webster contend<strong>ed</strong>that those involv<strong>ed</strong> in building the structure <strong>of</strong> the law connect“with that which is and must be as durable as the frame<strong>of</strong> human history.”Webster’s metaphor is present<strong>ed</strong> above aregistry <strong>of</strong> designers and builders, which is locat<strong>ed</strong> at thevery core <strong>of</strong> the courthouse, across from the elevators on thefirst floor.The names <strong>of</strong> the more than 2,500 people whowork<strong>ed</strong> to construct this building are present<strong>ed</strong> in rais<strong>ed</strong>lettering on that registry.– 40 –– 41 –


Congressman John JosephMoakley speaking at theD<strong>ed</strong>ication Ceremony,April 18, 2001.D<strong>ed</strong>ication <strong>of</strong> the John Joseph MoakleyUnit<strong>ed</strong> States CourthouseWhen President George W. Bush made the legislation namingthis building the John Joseph Moakley Unit<strong>ed</strong> StatesCourthouse the occasion for his first Rose Garden signing ceremony,Congressman Moakley respond<strong>ed</strong> with a gracefulspeech observing that it was a great honor to have the buildingnam<strong>ed</strong> after him.The congressman, for once, had it only halfright.To be sure, it is an honor to have the building nam<strong>ed</strong> afterhim; but it is equally an honor for this building to bear his name.One way to understand why that is so is to quote from aletter that Justice Stephen G. Breyer sent to CongressmanMoakley. Justice Breyer writes <strong>of</strong> rememberingnot just your d<strong>ed</strong>ication and effectiveness in seeing that the courthousewas built, but also your original vision.You want<strong>ed</strong> a courthousethat both would work for the judges and the judicial systemand also would serve the community in which it was built.Youwant<strong>ed</strong> it to be a catalyst for the economic development <strong>of</strong> the areaand you want<strong>ed</strong> it to belong not just to the judges or to thelawyers, but to the entire Boston community.I hope and believe the courthouse does carry out that vision,for it is both a symbol <strong>of</strong> justice and an important practical example<strong>of</strong> how our government can and should involve, belong to, and helpthe people whom it is meant to serve.That, it seems to me, is whatyou always have stood for throughout your life <strong>of</strong> public service.This courthouse in this location carries out, as Justice Breyerwrites, Congressman Moakley’s original vision. Even more fundamentally,this building aspires to the values <strong>of</strong> public serviceembodi<strong>ed</strong> in the congressman’s life.When we began the design <strong>of</strong> this building, we tri<strong>ed</strong> toexplain to the architect, Henry N. Cobb, why courts were distinctivegovernmental bodies.A court well run, we told him,attempts to provide a citizen with a high public <strong>of</strong>ficial who isprepar<strong>ed</strong> to spend as much time as is necessary to resolve thatcitizen’s dispute fairly.At its foundation, this represents governmentconduct<strong>ed</strong> on a person-to-person level. For people notdirectly engag<strong>ed</strong>, these disputes may <strong>of</strong>ten seem to present trivialcontroversies. But I can assure you that there is nothing trivialabout them for those who are involv<strong>ed</strong>; the judge who failsto recognize that is a judge who fails to do justice.Person-to-person government is precisely what JoeMoakley has always been about. Everyone who ever serv<strong>ed</strong> onJoe Moakley’s staff talks about his passion for case work.Theyfrequently evoke the image <strong>of</strong> him “on the phone urgingsomeone to get Mrs. O’Leary her Social Security check.”Theultimate measure <strong>of</strong> a democratic government’s effectiveness—whether in the courts or through a legislator’s attention to constituentservice—is the willingness and ability to provide everyperson with a sympathetic hearing and a fair shake.And from these seemingly trivial matters are construct<strong>ed</strong>,brick by brick, larger lessons about our democratic life.Theyare the lessons that caus<strong>ed</strong> our architect to choose brick as thepr<strong>ed</strong>ominant material for this building.As a biographer <strong>of</strong> the– 42 –– 43 –


founder <strong>of</strong> the congressman’s political party wrote in explainingwhy Thomas Jefferson design<strong>ed</strong> Monticello and the University<strong>of</strong> Virginia in brick, it is “the common building material fromwhich a democratic quality emerges; it is capable <strong>of</strong> assumingnoble proportions and intentions, yet it is plain and honest.”The spirit <strong>of</strong> Joe Moakley is imb<strong>ed</strong>d<strong>ed</strong> in the brick <strong>of</strong> thisbuilding, and with the naming that presence has become manifest.His name has been hand carv<strong>ed</strong> at the front door under thesupervision <strong>of</strong> John Benson, the master craftsman who execut<strong>ed</strong>all the carvings for this structure.And to understand how the brick <strong>of</strong> this building embodiesJoe Moakley’s spirit, you should also look closely at the plaqueinset in the brick <strong>of</strong> the arch at the front door.Carv<strong>ed</strong> in that plaque is a quotation that captures plainlyand honestly the noble proportions and intentions <strong>of</strong>Congressman Moakley’s career. It comes from a speech that hegave at the University <strong>of</strong> Central America, in El Salvador, aboutthe rule <strong>of</strong> law and democracy and justice, in which he held thehighest <strong>of</strong>ficials <strong>of</strong> that ravish<strong>ed</strong> nation to institutional responsibility.“Thereis no such thing as half justice,” he said.“Youeither have justice or you don’t.You either have a democracy inwhich everyone—including the powerful—is subject to therule <strong>of</strong> the law, or you don’t.”That quotation enters into the conversation among theinscriptions that John Benson has carv<strong>ed</strong> throughout this building.In particular, it reflects application <strong>of</strong> the principle stat<strong>ed</strong> byJustice Louis D. Brandeis in the quotation encounter<strong>ed</strong> at themain staircase stairs on the other side <strong>of</strong> the entrance hall:“Justice Is But Truth in Action.”I suspect that Justice Brandeis would understand that therewas more to Congressman Moakley’s speech that day nearly adecade ago in El Salvador than what we had space to captureon the plaque. Confronting a recalcitrant military who attempt<strong>ed</strong>to cover up their murder <strong>of</strong> six Jesuit priests, a housekeeper,and her daughter, Joe Moakley went on to echo Justice Brandeisand tell them,“Truth is not the enemy.… Without the truth …government cannot lay claim to truly democratic institutions.”That approach is all that a courthouse can aspire to standfor. I can think <strong>of</strong> no higher honor for a courthouse than to benam<strong>ed</strong> after a man whose public service has embodi<strong>ed</strong> thesearch for equal justice under law for all, whether it is Mrs.O’Leary looking to receive her Social Security check on atimely basis or General René Emilio Ponce being held toresponsibility for the misde<strong>ed</strong>s <strong>of</strong> the powerful institution heWhen Congressman Moakley di<strong>ed</strong> on Memorial Day, May 28, 2001,a local television station air<strong>ed</strong> an interview <strong>of</strong> him conduct<strong>ed</strong> just beforethe Courthouse D<strong>ed</strong>ication Ceremony, barely a month earlier.Ask<strong>ed</strong>what words he hop<strong>ed</strong> to see on the d<strong>ed</strong>ication plaque memorializing thenaming <strong>of</strong> the courthouse after him, Congressman Moakley respond<strong>ed</strong>:“He never forgot where he came from.”command<strong>ed</strong>.To be true to its name, such a courthouse mustbe—as Congressman Moakley has been throughout his life—committ<strong>ed</strong> to <strong>of</strong>fering a sympathetic hearing, providing a fairshake, and speaking truth to power. It is the responsibility <strong>of</strong>those <strong>of</strong> us fortunate enough to work in this building to maintainthat commitment.—Judge Douglas P. Woodlockfrom his remarks at the d<strong>ed</strong>ication ceremony <strong>of</strong> the John JosephMoakley Unit<strong>ed</strong> States Courthouse,April 18, 2001– 44 –– 45 –


HarborparkIn 1991, when the Fan Pier site was select<strong>ed</strong> for thenew F<strong>ed</strong>eral Courthouse in Boston and the design began,Stephen Breyer—then Chief Judge <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> StatesCourt <strong>of</strong> Appeals for the First Circuit and elevat<strong>ed</strong> to theSupreme Court <strong>of</strong> the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States in 1994—began theplanning process by identifying the true beneficiaries <strong>of</strong>the project. This most beautiful site in Boston does not belong tothe judges, it does not belong to the lawyers, it does not belong tothe f<strong>ed</strong>eral government, Breyer said. It belongs to the public. Thisdescription <strong>of</strong> the ultimate ownership <strong>of</strong> the site has beeninscrib<strong>ed</strong> on the granite border between the courthouseand the lawn <strong>of</strong> the public Harborpark.– 46 –– 47 –


discovering justiceJames D. St.ClairCourt Public EducationProjectJohn Joseph MoakleyUnit<strong>ed</strong> States Courthouse1 Courthouse WayBoston, <strong>Massachusetts</strong> 02210

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