Servants of the Law examines the lives of two famous California judges, David S. Terry and Stephen J. Field, who created a lasting influence on the politics and judicial history of California's Supreme Court during the court's formative years of 1855 to 1865. These jurists shared the state's highest bench from 1857 to 1859 and, as events would later show, they confronted one another combatively, on and off, for almost thirty-five years. California's beginnings as a United States territory and later as the nation's thirty-first state were, in large part, fashioned in the wake of the country's malevolent and unforgiving the Civil War. Together, Terry and Field's lives served as an animate metaphor for the cultural and constitutional diversity that many nineteenth-century northern and southern judicial immigrants held toward one another.
Publisher: University Press of America
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 494 g
Dimensions: 232 x 155 x 20 mm
This book is not intended to be a precise judicial history of the state of California. Rather, because of the fascinating lives that two justices (Stephen Field and David Terry) lived, it makes for a beguiling narrative about two very human judges and the judicial and personal confrontations between them during the latter half of the nineteenth century. In the eyes of their judicial brethren, Terry's legal years began in promise and ended in disgrace, while Field's years began in promise and led to the nation's judicial pantheon. -- The Honorable Marcus Lucas, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, retired
Servants of the Law offers an account of the state of California's legal beginnings as it played itself out in the biographies of two of its earliest Chief Justices - David S. Terry and Stephen J. Field. It was an era when Mexico's Latin law was replaced by Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence. The sometimes devious personal conflicts between Field the northerner and Terry the southerner spans most of the last half of the 19th century. Moreover, the book is a fascinating and scholarly narrative of how the jurist Field moved to The United States Supreme Court for thirty-four years of service, while the gold-miner Terry vanished in disgrace for having been on the wrong side of the Civil War. -- William Johnston, superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District, 1971-81