Rediscovering New York

Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Facebook Live Video from 2020/10/27 - NYC and the United States Supreme Court


2020/10/27 - NYC and the United States Supreme Court

[NEW EPISODE] NYC and the United States Supreme Court

How New York and New Yorkers Impacted the Supreme Court

On this week’s show we will explore the impact of New York City and New Yorkers on the United States Supreme Court, from the establishment of the Republic right up to the present day.

 My guest will be teacher (and lawyer!) Robert Pigott, author of "New York’s Legal Landmarks", a historical guidebook to our court buildings, history and lore of New York’s legal system through the ages.

Tune in for this fascinating conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Jeff introduces his first guest Robert Pigott a lawyer and teacher. The first question comes from Jeff, who asks Robert about when he first entered law school. Robert mentions his time as a public school teacher before entering law school. Jeff then asks what took Robert to the NY attorney’s office and the charity bureau. Robert talks about leaving the private sector to becoming a regulator for nonprofits all over New York and how it introduced him to many diverse groups of people. Robert goes on to talk about the journey that lead him to his job. Jeff asks Robert about what makes the low-income housing offered by fifth houses create. Jeff asks who were the prominent New Yorkers who helped draft the constitution in the 1700s. They then talk about John Jay, the first supreme chief justice elected by George Washington, and his impact on the history of New York.

Segment 2

Robert explains what the circuit course was and what judges and practices were unique to it. Jeff mentions Henry Brockholms Livingston as part of one of the first “dream teams” with Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. The dream team served on one of the most popular trails of the time to acquit a man of murder. Jeff talks about Columbia Law School and asks Robert to run down the history of one of our nation’s most historic colleges. Jeff asks Robert about Albert Cardozo’s legal career. Cardozo was one of the city’s most prominent lawyers in the 1800s and was elected to the supreme court of New York. He served on the U.S supreme court until he died in 1885. 

Segment 3

Jeff asks Robert what inspired him to write his book “New York’s Legal Landmarks.” Robert explains his inspiration came from his love of the city’s legal buildings, making him decide to research the buildings and write a book. They then discuss Robert Even Hughes, who was a supreme court justice with a prolific career in U.S politics. Hughes made an unsuccessful bid at the presidency and barely lost to Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Jeff asks what role Hughes played in preventing the court from being expanded by lawmakers. Jeff brings up Felix Frankfurter, who lived in the Lower East Side and became another prominent lawyer in New York who went to Harvard Law School. Because of his Jewish heritage, he had trouble finding a job. Eventually, he got a job at a prestigious law firm, becoming a supreme court justice nominated by Franklin Roosevelt. 

Segment 4

Jeff brings up Harland Fisk Stone, a U.S Attorney General who started as an associate justice. Jeff and Robert next talked about Antonin Scalia, a Queens native and a supreme court justice from 1986 to 2016. Despite having different ideologies Scalia was great friends with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with the two of them sharing a love for opera. They then begin talking about Ginsburg and her appointment from President Bill Clinton. Jeff brings up Manhattan native Elena Kagan and her legal history before being in the supreme court.  


00:00:42.990 --> 00:00:52.710 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone. Welcome to our listeners in the Big Apple from across the US and around the world. I'm Jeff Goodman and you've tuned into rediscovering New York

00:00:53.430 --> 00:00:59.190 Jeff Goodman: Professionally, I'm a real estate broker with brown Harris Stevens and as most of you know I love New York

00:00:59.880 --> 00:01:15.120 Jeff Goodman: rediscovering New York as a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of our amazing city and we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists local musicians and artists and the occasional elected official

00:01:16.530 --> 00:01:24.330 Jeff Goodman: On some shows we focus on an individual New York neighborhood exploring its history and its current energy. What makes that particular New York neighborhood special

00:01:25.110 --> 00:01:32.430 Jeff Goodman: Sometimes like tonight we host shows about an interesting and vital color of the city and its history. That's not focused on one particular neighborhood.

00:01:33.240 --> 00:01:42.720 Jeff Goodman: I'm prior episodes. You've heard topics as diverse as an illuminating as American presidents who came from lived in or who had some interesting history here in New York.

00:01:43.470 --> 00:01:50.580 Jeff Goodman: The history of women activists in the women's suffrage movement. We've looked at the history of African Americans in the city. Going back to the time of the Dutch

00:01:51.060 --> 00:01:54.720 Jeff Goodman: We've looked at the history of the city's LGBT community and the gay rights movement.

00:01:55.440 --> 00:02:00.060 Jeff Goodman: We've explored bicycles and cycling. They've been around for more than 200 years, if you can believe it.

00:02:00.510 --> 00:02:05.340 Jeff Goodman: We've also looked at the history of punk and Opera in New York. They were separate shows, by the way.

00:02:05.880 --> 00:02:11.670 Jeff Goodman: We've looked at our public library systems. That's plural. We have three of them actually not one, not two,

00:02:12.360 --> 00:02:24.300 Jeff Goodman: We've looked at some of our great train stations and we've even taken a look at some of our bridges after the broadcast each show is available on podcast. You can hear us on Apple Spotify SoundCloud Stitcher and other services.

00:02:25.800 --> 00:02:31.350 Jeff Goodman: We week so after Labor Day with the beginning of October on the horizon, and specifically the first Monday in October.

00:02:32.070 --> 00:02:35.490 Jeff Goodman: Which is actually the official start of the term of the US Supreme Court.

00:02:36.150 --> 00:02:47.460 Jeff Goodman: I thought that a really interesting topic for the show would be to take a look at New Yorkers who served on the court. Since rediscovering New York as a program about New York and New Yorkers and to look at justice as past and present.

00:02:48.660 --> 00:02:55.740 Jeff Goodman: When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg death from cancer created an opening on the court. I thought it would be even more interesting to have this show.

00:02:56.160 --> 00:03:00.270 Jeff Goodman: And what I thought might be the middle of a nomination and confirmation process.

00:03:00.990 --> 00:03:12.240 Jeff Goodman: Well, I suppose. The topic for this show is even more propitious than I thought it would be originally as a new Justice of the Supreme Court was confirmed less than 24 hours ago now associate justice Amy coney Barrett

00:03:13.350 --> 00:03:21.180 Jeff Goodman: For our show tonight we'll take a look at New York City, and more specifically New Yorkers and the US Supreme Court. Who were they, where do they come from.

00:03:21.810 --> 00:03:32.760 Jeff Goodman: What was their background What led them to the nation's highest court and maybe, just maybe, has the so called New York state of mind been present on Supreme Court's past and present.

00:03:34.080 --> 00:03:45.330 Jeff Goodman: My guest for tonight is a special guest. IT'S ROBERT Pigott Robert is vice president and general counsel of flips houses, New York City's oldest and largest nonprofit developer of low income and affordable housing.

00:03:46.170 --> 00:03:51.630 Jeff Goodman: He previously spent 11 years as a section chief and bureau chief and the New York Attorney General's charities Bureau.

00:03:52.590 --> 00:03:55.920 Jeff Goodman: He's an adjunct professor at Fordham Law school teaching nonprofit law.

00:03:56.580 --> 00:04:01.380 Jeff Goodman: And Bob is the author of a great book. It's called New York's legal landmarks.

00:04:01.710 --> 00:04:12.900 Jeff Goodman: A guide to legal edifices institutions lore history and curiosity on the city streets and for anyone who loves architecture and New York. It is a must read I'm having a great time looking for it, although I haven't finished it yet.

00:04:15.060 --> 00:04:24.540 Jeff Goodman: Bob received a BA from Hamilton College and his JD from Columbia University Law School, Bob. Pick it up a hearty welcome to rediscovering New York

00:04:25.080 --> 00:04:25.770 Thank you, Jeff.

00:04:26.790 --> 00:04:34.860 Jeff Goodman: Before we talk about the subject for the show. I'd like to talk about your background and your career, at what point in your life for your schooling. Did you decide that you were going to go to law school.

00:04:36.000 --> 00:04:40.440 Bob Pigott: Um, actually I put it off. I applied to law school when I was in college.

00:04:40.680 --> 00:04:54.690 Bob Pigott: And I put it off to teach high school in New York City for a couple of years at Columbia grammar and prep, which a lot of fun and a good thing to it's good to take a break before embarking on something is demanding as law school, very lucky that that I taught high school math actually

00:04:55.110 --> 00:04:59.940 Jeff Goodman: Oh wow, and that probably made you more committed to actually do law school after having, you know,

00:05:00.270 --> 00:05:08.130 Jeff Goodman: Yeah, I always thought I didn't go to graduate school, but there were people who went right on to graduate school. I went to Vassar also an upstate New York, not too far from you.

00:05:08.610 --> 00:05:15.630 Jeff Goodman: From Hamilton College and I often thought it was what it was like to take a break and then go on to something, you know, for

00:05:16.020 --> 00:05:25.650 Jeff Goodman: More graduate schooling that people would be even more committed to doing it. If they took a break. I'm what took you to the New York Attorney General's Office and the charities Bureau.

00:05:26.250 --> 00:05:41.730 Bob Pigott: Well, actually I knew nothing about the charities bureau. When I saw an ad in the New York larger and old back then in 1997 that's how people learned about jobs they read ads in the newspaper. And it was just a good this is not very admirable or noble. We had a child that was

00:05:43.230 --> 00:05:47.820 Bob Pigott: very demanding and I had to get out of private practice was just to consuming so I went to work.

00:05:48.990 --> 00:06:04.470 Bob Pigott: For the state and while it is, you know, it's a demanding job it's it's nothing like private practice, I was able to lead the regular life that I that I wanted when my children were young, but at the same time, do a job that became really the most compelling.

00:06:05.610 --> 00:06:17.160 Bob Pigott: Job that I've ever had in the New York Attorney General's charities Bureau, you are along with the Internal Revenue Service. That's the federal regulator. You are the principal regulator of not for profit corporations in the state of New York.

00:06:17.640 --> 00:06:24.990 Bob Pigott: So I did a lot of affirmative work investigating misconduct at nonprofits and it was really just fascinating.

00:06:25.350 --> 00:06:34.140 Bob Pigott: And, you know, for every walk of life. There's a corresponding nonprofit organization and you really become exposed to every facet of New York Life.

00:06:34.380 --> 00:06:45.750 Bob Pigott: Through doing that work and I really loved it. But as I said I had a couple of kids and eventually I had to get get out of says state work. And at that point, that was the credential that I needed to get an in house job and

00:06:46.860 --> 00:06:51.750 Bob Pigott: Ended up at Phipps houses, which is you noted as a large nonprofit that develops affordable housing.

00:06:52.350 --> 00:07:00.000 Jeff Goodman: How did you go from working for enforcement in the ages office to working for nonprofit. What was, what was your journey that led you there.

00:07:00.120 --> 00:07:13.920 Bob Pigott: Let's kind of an artificial credential because the one if I know one thing in the law, one little bit of expertise. I have and I teach it for them it's nonprofit law. But once you become the in house lawyer, the General Counsel for a large organization.

00:07:14.160 --> 00:07:27.480 Bob Pigott: Even if it's a nonprofit you i do that maybe 2% of the time and I'm thrilled when I get a chance to use use that knowledge, but most of the time I'm dealing with the same issues that you would have it at any sort of FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATION.

00:07:28.590 --> 00:07:38.220 Bob Pigott: Contracts employment matters, the whole range of litigation supervision, so it was it was the natural segue, but it isn't always all that relevant

00:07:38.850 --> 00:07:42.330 Jeff Goodman: Is a to personal a question to ask you how you, how you wound up at 50,000

00:07:43.230 --> 00:07:59.730 Bob Pigott: A know this this is how things happen a trustee. A was the summer camp friend of my college roommate and he told me the job opening and I just like went through all the normal channels. After that, but that's how you learn the things they're learning the things very often.

00:08:00.270 --> 00:08:06.060 Jeff Goodman: Oh, that's great. And it's the oldest, non FOR PROFIT HOUSING ORGANIZATION in the United States.

00:08:06.240 --> 00:08:14.340 Bob Pigott: Yeah, it actually hasn't has an interesting origin. It was started by Henry Phipps, Henry, Phipps was Andrew Carnegie the partner ID card you steal

00:08:14.880 --> 00:08:23.310 Bob Pigott: Henry Phipps was the CFO and JP Morgan took Carnegie Steel public both Carnegie and fits made a ton of money off of their stock.

00:08:23.760 --> 00:08:37.080 Bob Pigott: Both K both came to New York hard he got into libraries and Phipps got into affordable housing in 1905 he gave a million dollars to build a model tenements on

00:08:37.830 --> 00:08:52.860 Bob Pigott: On the 31st Street in Manhattan. And back then and billion dollars could buy quite a lot of model tenements. It was really a very impressive building in the two years that in the few years that followed. He built a couple more that are still standing behind Lincoln Center and

00:08:54.060 --> 00:09:05.850 Bob Pigott: That that's how I can fix houses was incorporated by special act of the legislature in 1905 and we've been going at it ever since. Know Lauren with Phipps family money, since the early 70s.

00:09:06.270 --> 00:09:12.840 Bob Pigott: We develop affordable housing by participating in government programs that subsidize subsidized was

00:09:13.530 --> 00:09:21.750 Jeff Goodman: Amazing. I didn't know that. I know that a New York on into the business of public housing and affordable housing that was under mail LaGuardia in the 30s.

00:09:22.080 --> 00:09:30.060 Jeff Goodman: In fact, first houses down in the East Village and Alphabet City is, you know, it was to me is quite a monument, but I didn't know. I didn't know about fix houses. That's great.

00:09:30.480 --> 00:09:37.470 Jeff Goodman: Um, is there anything unique about the low income and affordable housing that flips houses develops compared to

00:09:37.800 --> 00:09:45.420 Jeff Goodman: Other organizations that you see this affordable housing that goes up periodically. I live in Harlem and you'll see that this organization puts it up or that organization. There was one

00:09:46.110 --> 00:09:58.170 Jeff Goodman: When I lived on Second Street in the East Village the Cooper square project. It took like three times as long to build that seven story building as its to build the Empire State Building. I was wondering about that. But is there anything kind of a unique sauce that flips houses brings

00:09:58.560 --> 00:10:18.210 Bob Pigott: A lot of experience in a good track record. And when we're very we remain very active, we just we have large tracts of land that we're developing a nice York and Far Rockaway in Forest Hills queens. So, you know, I'm very lucky to be associated with vital organizations. That's houses.

00:10:19.650 --> 00:10:28.620 Jeff Goodman: Well, Bob, we're going to talk a little bit about about your book a little bit later in this episode. But now to the main event New Yorkers in the Supreme Court.

00:10:30.450 --> 00:10:32.040 Jeff Goodman: Can I ask you a question. Sure.

00:10:33.090 --> 00:10:48.840 Bob Pigott: When I when the book came out, I would before every book talk, I would say, I will give a free copy of my book to anyone who could answer this question. Mind you, this was five years ago. So this quickly. This was true. Five years ago, sadly, it's not true today.

00:10:50.460 --> 00:10:58.350 Bob Pigott: They're forward New York City High schools that were attended by current US Supreme Court justices. What were those high schools.

00:10:59.610 --> 00:11:01.920 Jeff Goodman: You told me in a prior conversation and I forgot.

00:11:03.510 --> 00:11:04.560 Jeff Goodman: I can't, I can't.

00:11:04.950 --> 00:11:05.790 Jeff Goodman: I can't remember.

00:11:06.180 --> 00:11:06.900 Bob Pigott: I gave this talk.

00:11:06.930 --> 00:11:16.560 Jeff Goodman: Well, actually, actually the one I do know is Ruth Bader Ginsburg BECAUSE SHE WENT TO MADISON AND I WENT TO MID what high school and our law. I mean, I didn't. I've never met her never knew her but

00:11:17.130 --> 00:11:26.160 Jeff Goodman: She was her family went to the Eastman which you were Center. I went to day school there. And so, you know, our facets of our lives. OVERLAPPED I had friends who went to Madison but way after when she did.

00:11:26.400 --> 00:11:31.380 Jeff Goodman: And of course Midwood in Madison competed against each other and sing with Lincoln High School.

00:11:31.890 --> 00:11:47.040 Bob Pigott: Will ask this question probably 30 times and you know sometimes collectively, the group would come up with all four answers, but never did a single person come up with the answer and I would read this box sigh of relief that I didn't have to give away a free copy of the book.

00:11:48.300 --> 00:11:51.120 Jeff Goodman: Well, I already bought mine. But let me take a guess. I know that.

00:11:53.340 --> 00:12:02.370 Jeff Goodman: Antonin Scalia went to Xavier. And I know that's Sonia Sotomayor went to another Catholic school in the Bronx Elena Kagan, I think went to Hunter College high school, did she

00:12:02.940 --> 00:12:09.240 Jeff Goodman: Again, and then Madison high school so i don't i don't know what school Sonia Sotomayor when I know it was a Catholic school so I got three out of four.

00:12:09.780 --> 00:12:18.510 Jeff Goodman: Yeah. Okay. Okay. Well, I already bought my copy. So when we get to meet after coven I'm going to have to bring it and have you inscribe something really meaningful in it.

00:12:19.950 --> 00:12:28.620 Jeff Goodman: I'm not in New York in the Supreme Court New Yorkers who figure prominently in the courts history. I'm in the court for most of its history.

00:12:29.460 --> 00:12:36.330 Jeff Goodman: Before we get to the New Yorkers who impacted the Supreme Court. I wanted to ask you a little bit about the courts Genesis and it's establishment.

00:12:36.840 --> 00:12:46.710 Jeff Goodman: I'm cool was some of the prominent New Yorkers involved in both the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that really created the Republican leading up to that.

00:12:47.580 --> 00:12:58.140 Bob Pigott: Well Gouverneur Maurice, a New York, the more seine area of the Bronx was at the Constitutional Convention and he's credited with drafting the the preamble to the Constitution.

00:12:58.530 --> 00:13:08.040 Bob Pigott: And two of the three authors of the Federalist Papers were New Yorkers Alexander Hamilton and john J along with James Madison of Virginia.

00:13:09.120 --> 00:13:18.330 Jeff Goodman: We've actually talked about Hamilton and a couple of other programs and Hamilton is probably someone who doesn't need any introduction and a lot of people listening to the show.

00:13:19.050 --> 00:13:23.460 Jeff Goodman: Know who Hamilton was a lot of New Yorkers recognize the name john J.

00:13:24.240 --> 00:13:35.250 Jeff Goodman: Especially because one of our colleges in CUNY is named after him. But many of them don't know who john Jay was, um, who was he, what did he do, what, what was his, you know, how, how did he impact.

00:13:36.030 --> 00:13:41.340 Jeff Goodman: The founding of the Republic and and he was also the first Supreme Court Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.

00:13:41.610 --> 00:13:53.130 Bob Pigott: That's right. He was selected by George Washington I he was from an old New York family, his family, a state Claremont is on the Hudson and it can be visited, it's still open to the public or you'll be shortly. I hope

00:13:53.610 --> 00:14:06.630 Bob Pigott: And if if you might remember from your American history class, the J treaty you negotiated a treaty with England that was very unpopular with the Jeffersonian that was were

00:14:06.900 --> 00:14:17.100 Bob Pigott: You as being to pro English the Jeffersonian were more pro friendship, the time but as as as you pointed out, he was the first Chief Justice of the United States.

00:14:17.460 --> 00:14:28.530 Bob Pigott: And at the time, the capital of the United States was located in New York City for about a slightly more than a year from 1789 into 1790

00:14:28.740 --> 00:14:39.090 Bob Pigott: The capital was here in New York City was actually hoping it would be the permanent capital and spend a lot of money renovating its Old City Hall on the corner of wall and Broad Street and

00:14:39.570 --> 00:14:48.870 Bob Pigott: To be federal Hall to house all three branches or well to the two branches of government. Um, and it hoped that

00:14:50.220 --> 00:15:03.330 Bob Pigott: The New York City would remain the capital I think from from the, from the musical Hamilton, a lot more people know about that bargain that was struck to move the capital down to the Potomac area in exchange for the

00:15:04.830 --> 00:15:08.700 Bob Pigott: The Jefferson factions agreement to allow the federal government to assume

00:15:09.900 --> 00:15:15.390 Bob Pigott: The state's debt. So the capital, there was an interim period fo throughout the 1790s.

00:15:15.600 --> 00:15:26.490 Bob Pigott: When the capital was in Philadelphia, but then it moved to its permanent location its current location, Washington, DC, but everything happens for the first time in New York City.

00:15:26.880 --> 00:15:33.150 Bob Pigott: The Bill of Rights was adopted by Congress in that federal Hall on the corner of Wall Street and broad streets.

00:15:33.360 --> 00:15:48.210 Bob Pigott: The United States Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City, not an Old City Hall in a block several in building several blocks further down Broad Street sort of across the street from where Francis tavern is now.

00:15:48.390 --> 00:15:49.050 Jeff Goodman: Doesn't mean you

00:15:50.790 --> 00:15:55.140 Jeff Goodman: Have you, they could, you know, after you know after a court session go across and

00:15:56.220 --> 00:16:05.850 Jeff Goodman: Dated in be fed to their to their heart's content. And the court was here for a year before it moved to Philadelphia in 1790. Right, right.

00:16:06.330 --> 00:16:12.990 Bob Pigott: And that building was torn down around 1799 and I think it was called in colonial times

00:16:13.470 --> 00:16:23.130 Bob Pigott: The Royal Exchange building, then the merchant exchange building and it's also the first place where the what is now the Southern District of New York, Matt. And it was the first

00:16:23.430 --> 00:16:32.400 Bob Pigott: Federal district court to meet. And that's why in the Southern District likes to refer to itself as the mother court. The first of all courts it even met before the Supreme several weeks before the Supreme Court.

00:16:32.910 --> 00:16:33.330 Oh, wow.

00:16:34.590 --> 00:16:46.170 Jeff Goodman: All right, we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our fascinating conversation with lawyer Teacher and Author Bob Piggott author of New York's legal landmarks. We'll be back in a moment.

00:18:56.880 --> 00:19:05.100 Jeff Goodman: We're back and you're back to rediscovering New York and our special episode about New York and the United States Supreme Court. My guests for the evening is Robert Pickett

00:19:05.610 --> 00:19:19.800 Jeff Goodman: Bob is a lawyer, a teacher and an author. He recently released a second edition of New York's legal landmarks a guide to legal edifices institutions lore history and curiosities on the city streets.

00:19:21.030 --> 00:19:27.420 Jeff Goodman: Bob, we ended the last segment by talking by you mentioning the sort of founding of the of the Southern District

00:19:28.500 --> 00:19:34.830 Jeff Goodman: Want to ask you about the circuits in the early days of the Supreme Court justices were required to ride the circuit. What was that

00:19:35.670 --> 00:19:46.470 Bob Pigott: Well, um, there was in between the district courts which exists to this day. And the Supreme Court which exists. This day there was this curious hybrid called the circuit court.

00:19:46.950 --> 00:19:55.860 Bob Pigott: And it was a combination of a trial court and appellate court and on appeals. There were no dedicated circuit court judges. So whenever they were appeals

00:19:56.070 --> 00:20:03.810 Bob Pigott: The panel would consist of the district court judge and the US Supreme Court Justice for that area so

00:20:04.230 --> 00:20:11.820 Bob Pigott: The US Supreme Court Justice, in addition to appearing appeals would have to ride the circuit and go to different

00:20:12.420 --> 00:20:17.460 Bob Pigott: Different locations within that circuit sometimes to try cases, you'd have the US Supreme Court.

00:20:17.940 --> 00:20:26.520 Bob Pigott: Judge serving as a trial judge sometimes to hear intermediate appeals, but that it was it was quite a burden on the judges they hated doing it and eventually

00:20:27.270 --> 00:20:33.750 Bob Pigott: The, the current system of the intermediate appellate court was adopted and that writing of the circuit was done away with the 1890s.

00:20:35.010 --> 00:20:37.890 Jeff Goodman: Oh, was that late in the 1890s. Yeah. Wow. Well,

00:20:39.810 --> 00:20:49.950 Jeff Goodman: Another prominent New Yorker, who served on the court in its early days, who actually also wrote the circuit in New York was a guy by the name of Henry Brock host Livingston, who was hey

00:20:50.310 --> 00:21:02.850 Bob Pigott: Now he's not at all prominence. If it weren't for something he had done in private practice. I probably would have never focused on him. He was yet the typical profile. He was from a prominent New York, New York family.

00:21:03.480 --> 00:21:14.730 Bob Pigott: livingston's and he was appointed to the High Court in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson, but it's really something that he did in private practice when he was a lawyer practicing law in New York City.

00:21:15.210 --> 00:21:26.670 Bob Pigott: That brought him to my attention. He will you all you remember from the OJ Simpson trial, the dream team that was established for OJ defense johnnie cochran Alan Dershowitz F lee bailey

00:21:28.980 --> 00:21:33.540 Bob Pigott: Among others, and it was called is called the dream team. Well, the first dream team.

00:21:33.900 --> 00:21:42.660 Bob Pigott: Livingston, was a member of and he was the least remarkable member of that dream team. And what's remarkable about this dream teams. It consisted of Livingston

00:21:43.140 --> 00:21:52.140 Bob Pigott: And Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. This was 1800 and they burn Hamilton are working side by side is co counsel.

00:21:52.470 --> 00:22:03.750 Bob Pigott: It was a murder. It was a murder trial this man named Levi weeks, was accused of having killed a fellow border and his boarding house and she was found at the bottom of a well and lists Bernards meadow.

00:22:04.170 --> 00:22:17.340 Bob Pigott: And somehow, you wouldn't think that this very modest person will be able to do that. But he's assembled this defense team of Hamilton bird and Livingston and in what was then a very long trial three days with over 50 witnesses.

00:22:18.360 --> 00:22:19.770 Jeff Goodman: They have 50 witnesses.

00:22:19.800 --> 00:22:20.730 Jeff Goodman: Yeah, well,

00:22:20.820 --> 00:22:24.900 Bob Pigott: The Securities acquittal. But it's interesting to think that that was 1800

00:22:25.290 --> 00:22:39.540 Bob Pigott: And only four years later in 1804 the two of them would meet on the plains of Weehawken with dueling pistols. And I always say it's sort of a cautionary tale to just be very careful in choosing your co counsel because you never can be certain how it's going to turn out.

00:22:40.860 --> 00:22:45.990 Jeff Goodman: Indeed, indeed, was a Broncos Livingston from the same family that that Robert. Let me send was from

00:22:46.110 --> 00:23:00.030 Bob Pigott: The first let me say he was, in fact, that's why he changed his name. I mean, but that's why he used his middle name Brock holes because Henry. There was another entity Livingston in the family and you want to differentiate Himself from that other little Livingston, who is well known.

00:23:00.540 --> 00:23:07.800 Jeff Goodman: Hmm. It's kind of like Carroll of Carrollton one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. There were two of them. So, he added the name of Carrollton

00:23:09.870 --> 00:23:17.220 Jeff Goodman: We can't talk about New York Supreme Court justices without talking about Columbia Law School, so many of them went to Columbia.

00:23:18.300 --> 00:23:24.570 Jeff Goodman: When was it founded, where was it. Where did it had it in moved around a lot. Let's talk about Columbia. How old is Columbia Law School.

00:23:24.900 --> 00:23:38.880 Bob Pigott: I mean, it goes back to the it's in the 18th century training LAWYERS, THEY WEREN'T law schools as such but but they were training lawyers. It was trading lawyers and turning out law and turning out training out more years, um,

00:23:39.720 --> 00:23:48.660 Bob Pigott: But the, the location of Columbia, like everything in New York City. It migrated uptown. It was in several locations in lower Manhattan.

00:23:48.930 --> 00:24:02.730 Bob Pigott: But the place that I interests me the most is where it was in the mid and late 19th century until it moved its campus up to Morningside Heights and it was right behind the was right behind St. Patrick's on Madison and 49

00:24:03.210 --> 00:24:10.050 Bob Pigott: And that's where it was when it. When Benjamin Cardozo went there and Charles Evans Hughes went there.

00:24:11.220 --> 00:24:11.700 Bob Pigott: And

00:24:12.960 --> 00:24:20.340 Bob Pigott: The whole school was there. But then, then they bought they bought their land up in Morningside Heights and everything was moved up there in the 1890s.

00:24:20.970 --> 00:24:29.910 Jeff Goodman: So the Columbia Law School wasn't on the campus of Columbia College when it was on what's now present a Rockefeller Center. It was it was over a block or so.

00:24:30.090 --> 00:24:31.080 Jeff Goodman: Yeah yeah

00:24:32.670 --> 00:24:34.590 Jeff Goodman: Was a part of Columbia University was it

00:24:34.620 --> 00:24:50.010 Bob Pigott: Was it a separate. So as part of Columbia University and even in the late 19th century, there were a lot of standalone law schools that were not affiliated with undergraduate institutions and New York law which exists to this day was founded by a group of

00:24:51.660 --> 00:25:05.310 Bob Pigott: Bye, bye, bye, bye, a group of Columbia Law professors who were dissatisfied with the Socratic method that was being implemented in Columbia Law School. They went off and found in New York, New York Law School, which was one of the largest law schools in the country at the time.

00:25:06.510 --> 00:25:14.910 Jeff Goodman: Well, you mentioned Benjamin Cardozo so let's let's go to him next Cardoza was Jewish. Unlike most Jewish New Yorkers.

00:25:15.630 --> 00:25:23.490 Jeff Goodman: Though he was Sephardic and his family was affiliated with what was not only the first and oldest congregation in New York, but also in the United States.

00:25:24.210 --> 00:25:30.030 Jeff Goodman: Congregation sherry L which means the remnants of Israel, you can still see it on Central Park West and I think 66 straight

00:25:30.780 --> 00:25:40.050 Jeff Goodman: It was also known as the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, but he wasn't the first of his family who was in the legal profession. His, His father was a judge, wasn't it

00:25:40.620 --> 00:25:52.200 Bob Pigott: That's right, and his father met sort of ignominious and his father was a Supreme Court justice in the 1860s and was part of the tweed ring.

00:25:53.340 --> 00:25:55.020 Jeff Goodman: New York Supreme Court or US Supreme Court.

00:25:55.230 --> 00:25:55.950 Bob Pigott: Tweet is

00:25:57.930 --> 00:26:13.770 Bob Pigott: And in my book I talk a lot about the tweet courthouse on chambers street which is notorious it's actually a lovely building, but it was never very popular because it was associated with the tremendous corruption of boss tweet he controlled. A lot of the public monies at the time and

00:26:15.240 --> 00:26:26.760 Bob Pigott: It was it costs 12,000,012 million dollars was spent on it. And most of that money went into the pockets of tweet and his cronies and the tweet rang. So, and he had only a

00:26:27.240 --> 00:26:34.380 Bob Pigott: Lot of public officials were on his payroll, including one Albert Cardozo who was the father of Benjamin Cardozo

00:26:34.710 --> 00:26:52.740 Bob Pigott: I couldn't Albert Cardozo was not impeached he resigned before he was removed from office resigned in disgrace, but somehow was able to resurrect his law practice and support his family, including Albert Jr and young Benjamin and built up as law practice.

00:26:53.460 --> 00:27:07.920 Bob Pigott: But many people speculate that it was the shame, shame over his father that really propelled Benjamin Cardoza to lead such a life of moral rectitude that he wants to indicate the family name after the grace of his father.

00:27:08.490 --> 00:27:17.610 Jeff Goodman: Hmm, I wonder if that has anything to do with him, never having been married but that's another story. What was Cardozo's professional journey before becoming a judge.

00:27:17.880 --> 00:27:25.500 Bob Pigott: Well, I'm sure his folly and he was in this household with his father rebuilding his little his legal career after the tweets scandal.

00:27:27.000 --> 00:27:34.290 Bob Pigott: And at one point they Albert senior was prosperous enough that they bought a brownstone on Madison.

00:27:34.560 --> 00:27:45.060 Bob Pigott: And approximately 68 Street. If you go there now. It's still standing. The main floor is a store of fancy ladies underwear store and above it with several, several

00:27:45.630 --> 00:27:59.310 Bob Pigott: Stories of brownstone so you can imagine, Benjamin Cardozo just leisurely strolling down Madison Avenue from 68 street 249 Street to go to Columbia. He had a good as interesting education before going to Columbia, this is sort of a

00:27:59.880 --> 00:28:14.250 Bob Pigott: Curious little fact he had a tutor when he was young and it was Horatio Alger of the rags to riches fame. So imagine being prepared for life by the person who was writing all these American dream novels, who would go on to write such novels.

00:28:15.360 --> 00:28:31.350 Bob Pigott: But he ended up going to Columbia Law School. And after that, he went into practice at the family law firm. The father was no longer practicing at that time, but his older brother Albert jr was. And then he was he was a very successful lawyer.

00:28:32.520 --> 00:28:39.930 Bob Pigott: He was elected to the Supreme Court of the State of the State of New York, which is most of you know is the trial court level. So he was a judge.

00:28:40.110 --> 00:28:49.320 Bob Pigott: In the tweet courthouse for a brief period of time, and it's really remarkable after just about a year as a Supreme Court justice. He was elevated to the

00:28:49.920 --> 00:29:02.520 Bob Pigott: Court of Appeals of the state of New York. The highest court in the state of New York. And that's really where he made his name writing brilliant common law Indians that lawyers still site to this day over 100 years later.

00:29:02.910 --> 00:29:10.320 Bob Pigott: And after that, very distinguished career on the highest court in the state of New York in 1930, he was appointed by Herbert Hoover to the Supreme Court.

00:29:11.130 --> 00:29:13.770 Jeff Goodman: And how long was he on the court for was the on the court till his death.

00:29:13.950 --> 00:29:17.790 Bob Pigott: He was on the courts list that I think 1938 perhaps

00:29:18.810 --> 00:29:30.840 Bob Pigott: And, you know, and so the last eight years of his life. He relocated from New York City to DC and I don't think he preferred living in DC, and as you noted, he was a bachelor. He was remarkably close to his sister.

00:29:32.100 --> 00:29:46.470 Bob Pigott: But he never married and when he died, he has ties to New York are shown by the fact that he was buried, not in DC. But back in New York City at a Sephardic Cemetery in the in the Cypress Hills area of New York.

00:29:47.010 --> 00:29:52.290 Jeff Goodman: Uh huh. I wonder if it's family goes back to when the first

00:29:53.340 --> 00:30:02.070 Jeff Goodman: Dutch. Well, the Portuguese shoes came from hissy fit back in the 1615 years is he was he was he was a Portuguese and Spanish ancestry.

00:30:02.160 --> 00:30:14.070 Bob Pigott: I think so, in his case, he was cousins with Nathan's and Gomez's these these very well known Sephardic names actually on my mother's side I'm Sephardic and her mother's my my maternal grandmother her maiden name was Cardoza

00:30:14.580 --> 00:30:15.930 Jeff Goodman: Oh wow, and your relationship.

00:30:16.260 --> 00:30:21.660 Bob Pigott: Now that that was with a Z, she was with an S are Benjamin cargoes is with a z.

00:30:22.050 --> 00:30:22.290 Oh,

00:30:23.490 --> 00:30:33.060 Jeff Goodman: I like to say that I'm part Sephardic because my mother is Italian American but she wasn't born Jewish although she is now so I really can't say I'm Sephardic, I'm just gonna housing.

00:30:33.720 --> 00:30:34.560 Bob Pigott: Median Jews.

00:30:34.920 --> 00:30:35.340 Jeff Goodman: Sorry.

00:30:35.580 --> 00:30:36.810 Bob Pigott: Your Tunisian Jews.

00:30:36.990 --> 00:30:38.040 Jeff Goodman: Oh wow, okay.

00:30:39.360 --> 00:30:44.550 Jeff Goodman: We're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our fascinating conversation with Bob pagan

00:30:45.180 --> 00:31:00.480 Jeff Goodman: Bob is an adjunct professor at Fordham School of Law in the area of nonprofit law. He's the General Counsel of hips houses and also the author of this great book. New York's legal landmarks, which we're going to talk about on the other side of the break we'll be back in a moment.

00:31:04.620 --> 00:31:05.070 Bob Pigott: And my

00:31:06.210 --> 00:31:06.660 Bob Pigott: Left.

00:31:07.950 --> 00:31:08.160 In

00:33:22.590 --> 00:33:30.360 Jeff Goodman: We're back support for the program comes from our sponsors the mark Miami team mortgage strategist at freedom mortgage

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00:33:57.030 --> 00:34:05.760 Jeff Goodman: Is another great show on the air about New York and specifically about the business of real estate. Good morning, New York with Vince Rocco my friend and colleague brown Harris Stevens.

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00:34:26.100 --> 00:34:31.950 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we continue with our conversation with Bob, even though rediscovering New York is not sure about real estate.

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00:34:52.650 --> 00:35:03.240 Jeff Goodman: Bob. Before we talk more about New Yorkers in the Supreme Court. I want to ask you some questions about your book. It's a great book. One of the things I love. I'm a real Maven for architecture and also have to add that

00:35:03.870 --> 00:35:12.210 Jeff Goodman: One of our sponsors. One of his favorite buildings in New Yorkers the surrogates Court Building on on chamber Street. What inspired you to write this book.

00:35:12.930 --> 00:35:19.020 Bob Pigott: Well, actually I can pinpoint the moment when I was inspired to write the book. It was a warm

00:35:19.350 --> 00:35:30.570 Bob Pigott: Sunday afternoon in August, about seven years ago, and I was exploring the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn and I can't find this very impressive structure and

00:35:31.230 --> 00:35:42.000 Bob Pigott: Over one door where the words Magistrates Court over the other door with a rigid municipal court at this point, I've been practicing law for 20 years I'd never heard of either of these courts but it got me to research.

00:35:43.080 --> 00:35:52.950 Bob Pigott: What were these municipal courts and magistrates courts, I discovered that there was a New York City at once been dotted with all these small jurisdiction. Dig jurisdictional courts.

00:35:53.280 --> 00:36:02.400 Bob Pigott: municipal courts and magistrates courts and it is I sort of I started collecting images and realized there was, it might be a book in it. And that's the origin of New York's legal landmarks.

00:36:03.120 --> 00:36:05.730 Jeff Goodman: What would you say was the most interesting part of your research.

00:36:07.140 --> 00:36:10.440 Bob Pigott: Um, you know, I had some interesting

00:36:12.060 --> 00:36:21.360 Bob Pigott: Sources, the things that things that I used to this day, but went back 100 years that were really important sources of information like you

00:36:21.600 --> 00:36:37.440 Bob Pigott: And many of us have seen the New York City green book that directory of municipal buildings in New York, it comes out every year. Well, it was first came out in 1918 so if you want to see where certain court was in 1922 1920 Green Book. Similarly,

00:36:38.850 --> 00:36:55.110 Bob Pigott: Martindale Hubbell the directory of lawyers has been around for over 125 years. So if I wanted to see where Benjamin Cardozo practice law. I could look him up in the 1896 Martindale Hubbell and see what his firm consistent back then and where they were located.

00:36:55.740 --> 00:37:06.780 Jeff Goodman: One thing I love about your book is, you not only have photographs of X 10 buildings, whether or not they're still use this courts but drawings of some old court buildings and other edifices that

00:37:08.400 --> 00:37:14.730 Jeff Goodman: Had legal things happening there. Even the Old City Hall. Back in the day, and there are photographs of some buildings that are no longer there.

00:37:16.410 --> 00:37:21.120 Jeff Goodman: What was the most fun part of the research you did was the refund part of it, most fun

00:37:21.180 --> 00:37:28.110 Bob Pigott: Well, I did a lot of legwork walking all over the city. It wasn't always fun. I remember taking my bike on the Staten Island Ferry and

00:37:28.380 --> 00:37:36.900 Bob Pigott: Bicycling deep into the hardest Staten Island to find the New Brighton village hall. It was a landmark, it surely had to be there and it had been torn down.

00:37:37.110 --> 00:37:46.890 Bob Pigott: And you might say, How could that happen to a landmark building the owner has allowed it to fall to intentionally and allowed it to fall into such a state of disrepair that it had to be torn down.

00:37:47.310 --> 00:37:48.360 Jeff Goodman: When was it built

00:37:48.720 --> 00:37:50.310 Bob Pigott: It was built around 18

00:37:50.640 --> 00:38:06.240 Bob Pigott: In the late 19th century, the New Brighton village hall and also functions as a sport as a courthouse and some of these buildings are very grand and they were built as courthouses and some of them were surprisingly comically modest the city renting

00:38:06.960 --> 00:38:15.600 Bob Pigott: Space on the second floor of a movie theater for municipal court so litigants as its truth through the movie theater lobby and up a flight of stairs to get to the port room.

00:38:15.870 --> 00:38:16.500 Jeff Goodman: Where was that

00:38:16.980 --> 00:38:27.450 Bob Pigott: That actually was on the Upper West Side. That was the old Riverside's movie theater which is on 96 and 96 Street and Broadway next year movie theater. Wow.

00:38:27.510 --> 00:38:36.060 Jeff Goodman: Wow. Such history. I'm getting back to New Yorkers and the court one incredibly prominent New Yorker was Charles Evans us

00:38:37.440 --> 00:38:45.990 Jeff Goodman: He was not only on the Supreme Court, but he had positions that were prominent before his rise to to Chief Justice. He actually had a remarkable career.

00:38:46.440 --> 00:39:04.290 Jeff Goodman: He was first to Governor, he was an Associate Justice of the of the court. He then resigned to became a presidential candidate against Woodrow Wilson in 1916 he became Secretary of State under Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge as sort of a response to the wilsonian

00:39:06.300 --> 00:39:16.050 Jeff Goodman: Points and post World War, but we're not going to get into that. And then he became Chief Justice of also appointed by Coolidge. He wasn't originally from New York City. There was a

00:39:16.470 --> 00:39:28.140 Bob Pigott: He was from upstate New York. He started at Colgate University with for college, which was then called Madison. But then he transferred to brown and

00:39:28.860 --> 00:39:39.030 Bob Pigott: came down to it came down to New York went to went to law school here at his first firm, he married the boss's daughter, the leading partner is, for he married her daughter and

00:39:39.510 --> 00:39:47.790 Bob Pigott: He was a he practice here for four years. It actually the stress got to him and he took a break and he taught at Cornell Law School for a number of years.

00:39:48.060 --> 00:39:57.000 Bob Pigott: But then came down made his career here became known for some investigations, he conducted a public utilities and that was the springboard to his

00:39:57.210 --> 00:40:03.870 Bob Pigott: Election as governor and it's just so interesting that a governor should be a former governor should be appointed

00:40:04.050 --> 00:40:11.430 Bob Pigott: I mean, he was he was obviously a very distinguished lawyer but that a former governor should be appointed to the US Supreme Court as he was by task.

00:40:11.700 --> 00:40:22.830 Bob Pigott: Now you just don't have that variety of experience in the people who are sitting on the High Court, they're all maybe they did a clerkship with the Supreme Court. Maybe they worked in the US Attorney's office.

00:40:23.190 --> 00:40:37.680 Bob Pigott: For a few years pointed to the bench. Maybe they were professors, a lot of ACADEMIC WRITINGS but you don't have that hard, hard enough bare knuckle political experience that a lot of the justice had generations ago. Oh.

00:40:38.010 --> 00:40:46.980 Jeff Goodman: Actually, we talked about Earl Warren briefly. He was the governor of California, and he was appointed to the Supreme Court in the 50s, so that that tradition, you know, did maintain itself for for a number of decades.

00:40:47.580 --> 00:40:53.730 Jeff Goodman: How did Hughes, get to the quarter. Originally, he was appointed by William Howard Taft before Wilson became president

00:40:54.840 --> 00:41:09.210 Bob Pigott: Well, he was he was he was a prominent republican and it with a very distinguished record as a lawyer and he'd been Governor say it was a national figure, and I suppose that's what counts to his appointment as an Associate Justice, but think of this

00:41:10.680 --> 00:41:19.080 Bob Pigott: Woodrow Wilson is running for reelection. It is June of the election year. And at that point, that late in the campaign.

00:41:19.320 --> 00:41:26.580 Bob Pigott: Hughes is drafted to be the Republican candidates to run against Wilson, who's a democrat is running for reelection.

00:41:26.850 --> 00:41:34.980 Bob Pigott: We're just just months away just months away from the election he steps down from the Supreme Court, that sort of thing today is just inconceivable.

00:41:35.370 --> 00:41:46.500 Bob Pigott: And it's often said, you know, some people speculate that he probably he barely lost. He went to sleep, thinking he had one on election night and if he had spent a little more time in California.

00:41:46.800 --> 00:41:58.530 Bob Pigott: Or at least he snuck the governor of California hotel and didn't meet with him ended up losing the state of California. And that's what made the difference in the election, but he could well have been President of Development elected president 1916

00:41:59.160 --> 00:42:09.450 Jeff Goodman: Wow history repeats itself that also sounds a little bit like the story that happened 32 years later with another governor of New York before he went to bed thinking that he he won the election.

00:42:11.040 --> 00:42:17.880 Jeff Goodman: Of course, with with us, we have to talk about after yours attempt to expand the court FDR another New Yorker. But who was not on the board, who became president

00:42:19.140 --> 00:42:29.040 Jeff Goodman: What role did us play in at least in public opinion and trying to Ford F to yours attempt to expand the court.

00:42:29.670 --> 00:42:47.010 Bob Pigott: Well, right now. You hear a lot of commentators saying you're about to have the most conservative Supreme Court, we've ever had since the time of Charles Evans Hughes, the court then was very conservative and Roosevelt to his frustration did not. It took a long time for him to get his

00:42:47.040 --> 00:42:48.660 Jeff Goodman: first appointment to Supreme

00:42:48.660 --> 00:43:08.160 Bob Pigott: Court and in a series of decisions. This Supreme Court, led by Charles Evans Hughes was striking down is unconstitutional number of new deal measures and that's why FDR got it into his head to pack the court. It was a highly unpopular move. And luckily,

00:43:09.300 --> 00:43:11.670 Bob Pigott: They call the switching time and save not

00:43:44.730 --> 00:43:47.520 Jeff Goodman: I think we lost Bob temporarily

00:43:49.410 --> 00:43:53.820 Jeff Goodman: We're going to try to get Bob back. So at the moment, we're going to take a break.

00:43:56.400 --> 00:43:57.120 Jeff Goodman: Bob, you there.

00:43:57.720 --> 00:43:58.500 Bob Pigott: Ah, yes.

00:43:58.650 --> 00:43:59.340 Jeff Goodman: Okay, good, good.

00:43:59.580 --> 00:44:01.350 Jeff Goodman: Um, so we'll actually

00:44:02.820 --> 00:44:11.370 Jeff Goodman: Cut out the dead air for the podcast I thought the last I heard was a stitch in time saves nine you're talking about the US court and FDR

00:44:11.790 --> 00:44:21.030 Bob Pigott: Right. One of the justices, you know, went to the other side and voted to support some new deal legislation and when that the obstacle that the Supreme Court.

00:44:21.240 --> 00:44:31.560 Bob Pigott: Had represented to the deal legislation ended and FDR no longer felt he needed to pack the court and withdrew is backing of this very unpopular measure

00:44:33.450 --> 00:44:46.320 Jeff Goodman: Well, we're gonna take a break in a minute. But before we do, I want to talk briefly about Felix Frankfurter, who was also pointed to the bench by a republican Cardoza was appointed to the bench by a republican Hughes was and so was Frankfurter

00:44:47.580 --> 00:44:48.660 Jeff Goodman: He was

00:44:50.490 --> 00:44:56.370 Jeff Goodman: Not born in the United States. Actually, I'm wrong about that. I think he was appointed to the bench by FDR my mistake.

00:44:57.840 --> 00:45:04.140 Jeff Goodman: He was not born in the United States, which is actually unusual for a Supreme Court justice but immigrated with his family when he was 12 years old.

00:45:05.100 --> 00:45:09.750 Jeff Goodman: He lived on the Lower East Side. In the 1890s, when it was a real magnet for Jewish immigrants.

00:45:10.230 --> 00:45:20.850 Jeff Goodman: Who mostly came from Eastern Europe, and I was actually little thing I found out about it today that kind of made me smile, he not only enjoyed playing chess, but also enjoyed shooting craps on the street.

00:45:22.080 --> 00:45:28.770 Jeff Goodman: I found out that my great grandfather was arrested for running a craps game in a story at 1945 but I wonder if

00:45:29.280 --> 00:45:37.200 Jeff Goodman: Justice Frankfurter was there, if it was a they must have hustle them out the door before the police came in the front. When did Frank for to decide that he wanted to be a lawyer.

00:45:38.160 --> 00:45:41.820 Bob Pigott: Well, he was he was always a brilliant student he you know he

00:45:42.930 --> 00:45:52.650 Bob Pigott: There was a local library than that. He practically lived in, and he was a very precocious brilliant student aunties and he managed to get into

00:45:53.520 --> 00:46:09.660 Bob Pigott: Harvard Law School, and he was he was at the top of his class. And yet, as was common for Jews in that era, he could not find a job, but one of the established Wall Street firms. Finally, the winter extensive Stinson firm.

00:46:11.100 --> 00:46:20.580 Bob Pigott: interviewed him and they were willing to offer me a job at a good salary. They suggested that he changed his name Frankfurter was thought to be not the most

00:46:20.940 --> 00:46:29.310 Bob Pigott: propitious name for a legal career a firm like bad he rejected that suggestion suggestion, but he didn't stay long in private practice. He followed

00:46:29.520 --> 00:46:43.080 Bob Pigott: Simpson into the US Attorney's office and but he really had a very long career through the 20s and 30s, as a professor at Harvard Law School, and that is where FDR found him in late 1930s when he appointed him to the bench.

00:46:43.740 --> 00:46:57.510 Bob Pigott: Where he really was a new deal proponent when he was appointed to the bench over the length of his career on the Supreme Court which extended the 16th, he became increasingly conservative but he started out as one of the more liberal members of the Court.

00:46:58.410 --> 00:47:03.690 Jeff Goodman: Well, one thing about him. That's great, is in 1920 he helped found the American Civil Liberties Union.

00:47:04.230 --> 00:47:15.120 Jeff Goodman: And he did retire from the court after having a stroke in 1962 and was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by john kennedy before he died shortly thereafter.

00:47:15.810 --> 00:47:23.790 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Bob Pickett about New Yorkers and United States Supreme Court will be back in a minute.

00:47:26.880 --> 00:47:27.720 Bob Pigott: talk radio

00:47:31.260 --> 00:47:31.470 And

00:49:40.410 --> 00:49:47.130 Jeff Goodman: We're back to our episode on rediscovering New York about New Yorkers in the Supreme Court. My guest is Bob Piggott

00:49:47.610 --> 00:50:00.300 Jeff Goodman: Author of New York's legal landmarks and also teaches nonprofit law and Fordham Law School, Bob. Let's talk about Harlan Fisk stone for a moment. Most people don't know who he was, who was he. And what did he do

00:50:01.170 --> 00:50:05.490 Bob Pigott: Well, if you want to see heartless fist on the silver screen.

00:50:05.760 --> 00:50:17.730 Bob Pigott: You only have to watch the Clint Eastwood movie about J. Edgar Hoover because he's he's depicted in that movie when you know when he was US Attorney General, he was he was on the court. He was up on the court in the

00:50:18.120 --> 00:50:28.530 Bob Pigott: Late 20s into the 40s and he started as an Associate Justice and became a he was a bit disappointed. Chief Justice. I first knew him because when I was at Columbia Law School.

00:50:29.520 --> 00:50:39.330 Bob Pigott: He had once been the Dean of Columbia Law School. And if you walk along Broadway and 170 Riverside and under 16 Street, there's this lovely curved building the Coliseum

00:50:39.510 --> 00:50:47.730 Bob Pigott: Right and under 16th and Riverside and there's a little plaque that indicates that that's where Harlan with this stone live when he was the dean of Columbia Law School.

00:50:49.050 --> 00:50:55.620 Bob Pigott: And so yeah, he was on the court for about 20 years versus an Associate Justice and then as Chief Justice

00:50:56.130 --> 00:51:01.530 Jeff Goodman: And his, his attitude about life and things seem to change. I was. It was really interesting to

00:51:01.950 --> 00:51:09.000 Jeff Goodman: To read that during the First World War. He was on a war department board of inquiry that examine cases of conscientious objectors

00:51:09.390 --> 00:51:16.800 Jeff Goodman: Who would deny that status by the local draft boards. He was not very well disposed to men who wouldn't take up arms to find in Europe.

00:51:17.670 --> 00:51:24.720 Jeff Goodman: But at the end of the war, he actually criticized then Attorney General Michel Palmer, who was behind the so called Palmer Raids after the war.

00:51:25.620 --> 00:51:41.640 Jeff Goodman: There was a big attempt to deport aliens based on administrative action without allowing for any traditional review of their cases during this time stone also defended free speech claims for professors and socialist suppose is adopted be recruits obviously had a big impact on him.

00:51:43.740 --> 00:51:45.090 Bob Pigott: And he was appointed to the court by

00:51:45.090 --> 00:51:48.090 Jeff Goodman: Calvin Coolidge, who was, by the way, his classmate and Amherst.

00:51:49.380 --> 00:51:55.350 Jeff Goodman: Was interesting to read now on some more. Some of the more recent judges of the new of the Court who New Yorkers until recently.

00:51:55.680 --> 00:52:03.540 Jeff Goodman: For of the nine Supreme Court justices. We're from New York City and they were each they were from every single borrow, with the exception of Staten Island.

00:52:03.930 --> 00:52:08.940 Jeff Goodman: Maybe propitious lead because of your biking to that courthouse. That was torn down was a landmark

00:52:09.930 --> 00:52:13.650 Jeff Goodman: I won't say anything bad about Staten Island and family living there. Um,

00:52:14.190 --> 00:52:19.830 Jeff Goodman: First, let's talk about the justice who've recently died, firstly Antonin Scalia. He was from Queens queens from our listeners.

00:52:20.190 --> 00:52:29.520 Jeff Goodman: Who may not be old enough to remember the court happenings during the years when Ronald Reagan was president. Let's talk briefly about how he got to the Supreme Court, what happened what landed him there.

00:52:30.600 --> 00:52:39.150 Bob Pigott: Well, it's interesting, as you noted, he was from Queens from Elmhurst in particular, but you know he did once he got out of

00:52:39.660 --> 00:52:44.520 Bob Pigott: High School. We separate went to high school senior high school on the 16th and fit.

00:52:45.300 --> 00:52:54.600 Bob Pigott: He really he really turned his back on New York City and you know didn't go to college here law school here didn't practice law here and they really never, never

00:52:55.320 --> 00:53:11.460 Bob Pigott: made any part of his adult life here, but he did have that experience the same experience I had of commuting on the subway from Queens into Manhattan. My experience was a little different because I didn't have to carry my rifle. I wasn't going military school and needed it for for aid.

00:53:12.510 --> 00:53:12.900 Bob Pigott: But that was

00:53:13.020 --> 00:53:14.010 Jeff Goodman: Carried it on the subway.

00:53:14.190 --> 00:53:19.020 Bob Pigott: But this is experienced on the subway in Queens with his rifle would if it was great day.

00:53:20.520 --> 00:53:21.840 Bob Pigott: And, you know, he

00:53:23.070 --> 00:53:40.440 Bob Pigott: Could be the most recent member of, of the, of the Supreme Court Justice Barrett's sites Scalia as her mentor. She was his clerk and she cites him as the greatest influence on her legal philosophy, the philosophy of textual originalism.

00:53:41.160 --> 00:53:42.240 Bob Pigott: But one thing that you know you've

00:53:42.540 --> 00:53:54.630 Bob Pigott: Heard about a lot in the paper lately. And it really is a wonderful things that notwithstanding their tremendous philosophical jurisprudential differences. He and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were great friends.

00:53:54.870 --> 00:54:05.700 Bob Pigott: Joint joint lovers of the opera would go to the opera together and that really, that's one encouraging thing that you in these times to hear what the depth of their friendship.

00:54:06.420 --> 00:54:13.980 Jeff Goodman: And talking about ideological opposites in so many ways. But of course, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was had such a profound history.

00:54:14.310 --> 00:54:27.030 Jeff Goodman: With expanding our rights and liberties to people who before she came on the scene really did not have the same protections. Um, why, Justice Ginsburg. Why Did Bill Clinton nominate her to the nation's highest court.

00:54:27.630 --> 00:54:37.200 Bob Pigott: I'm heard recently that Hillary takes credit for suggesting to BILL THAT HE TAKE A LOOK AT Ginsburg as Ginsburg as a nominee.

00:54:37.920 --> 00:54:44.040 Bob Pigott: She was on the DC Circuit Court and she'd had a very distinguished career as a civil rights lawyer at the

00:54:44.460 --> 00:54:55.860 Bob Pigott: The ACLU. She was a law professor at Rutgers and the Columbia. She to same experiences Frank footer and shamefully 50 years later, top of her class from a

00:54:56.070 --> 00:55:11.010 Bob Pigott: National Law School could not get a job in a large New York, for she had the added burden. At the time of being a woman. So he Frankfurter was a Jew begins. There was more that you add a woman and she could not get a job at a distinguished law firm.

00:55:11.820 --> 00:55:24.630 Jeff Goodman: Or another first for the supreme court with Sonia Sotomayor. She was the first Latinx Member of the Court and she may be the first Supreme Court justice who is from the Bronx. I'm not 100% true, but I've never heard of anybody else being from the Bronx and being on the court.

00:55:25.650 --> 00:55:37.200 Jeff Goodman: She was actually appointed to the bench by she was a district court judge appointed by the first President Bush, what was her legal career like before she joined the Supreme Court.

00:55:37.980 --> 00:55:44.610 Bob Pigott: She had been in private practice. She was a federal district court judge, as you said she was from the Bronx. There's the Bronx in the Bronx.

00:55:44.760 --> 00:55:53.940 Bob Pigott: Some people want to show their chops and say they're from the Bronx. And if you inquire further you'll learn. They're from Riverdale she was truly from the Bronx. She lived in public housing.

00:55:54.270 --> 00:56:02.490 Bob Pigott: Public housing which has since been renamed for her in her honor and as we said before she went to a Catholic High School in the Bronx and not surprising given

00:56:02.730 --> 00:56:12.000 Bob Pigott: Her background. And then she went to Princeton, and there you know she as she writes in her autobiography. She felt completely at sea, completely lost

00:56:12.300 --> 00:56:23.370 Bob Pigott: And this feeling of being an outsider, surely contributed to her role is championing the rights of the disenfranchised the marginalized. I think that the

00:56:23.970 --> 00:56:37.020 Bob Pigott: Obvious outgrowth of her experience growing up in New York City. She was in private practice for a firm at a firm called the end Harcourt. She was on the Federal court bench after that and she was appointed

00:56:39.390 --> 00:56:40.830 Bob Pigott: I think was a 2009 or

00:56:40.830 --> 00:56:46.710 Jeff Goodman: 2000 10,009 actually when David Souter retired from the court right after Obama became president

00:56:47.970 --> 00:56:55.410 Jeff Goodman: Well, we haven't been a minute left, and we can't talk about the president Supreme Court without talking about Manhattan native Elena Kagan.

00:56:55.800 --> 00:57:04.500 Jeff Goodman: She's from Manhattan, and not only from Manhattan, but the good old Upper West Side what was Kagan's legal history before she arrives on the Supreme Court.

00:57:05.610 --> 00:57:13.950 Bob Pigott: A Kagan had also been a supreme court clerk. She had been a professor at Harvard Law School.

00:57:15.270 --> 00:57:29.730 Bob Pigott: And she just, if I may just a moment about her new york city life she lived on Western Avenue. She bought she convinced her rabbi to administer. One of the first bar mitzvahs at that temple.

00:57:31.590 --> 00:57:35.340 Bob Pigott: And she went to Hunter College High School, which, you know, you might you might

00:57:35.790 --> 00:57:45.000 Bob Pigott: Now we know if it is on Madison 99 First Street. I think at the time was actually on Lexington Avenue in the 50s and before they acquired their, their current location.

00:57:45.600 --> 00:58:03.120 Bob Pigott: And she she was such as we said she was appointed by Obama and she she, you know, while she was one of the more liberal members of the Court certainly now she is not uniformly liberal I'm every issue. It's an interesting, interesting mixture judicial philosophy.

00:58:03.720 --> 00:58:16.200 Jeff Goodman: And I do say the latest three justices who are all from New York, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan definitely gave the Supreme Court, a New York sensibility, based on the experiences that they had growing up and

00:58:16.920 --> 00:58:26.700 Jeff Goodman: What the right thing to do for people under the law is well we're out of time. Bob pig it thank you so much for being a guest on the special show about New York is in the US Supreme Court.

00:58:27.570 --> 00:58:35.880 Jeff Goodman: Robert Pickett is a lawyer at flips houses the General Counsel. He teaches nonprofit law at Fordham Law School. And he's also the author of this great book.

00:58:36.150 --> 00:58:44.250 Jeff Goodman: Called New York's legal landmarks a guide to legal edifices institutions law history and curiosities on the city streets, Bob. Thanks for being a guest on the show.

00:58:44.640 --> 00:58:46.200 Bob Pigott: Thank you very much. As a lot of fun.

00:58:46.860 --> 00:58:53.340 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions about the show would like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering. New York, NY say

00:58:54.060 --> 00:58:59.670 Jeff Goodman: You can like us on Facebook. And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter my handle is they were Jeff Goodman NYC.

00:59:00.240 --> 00:59:05.160 Jeff Goodman: Once again, I'd like to thank our sponsors the mark my admin team Morgan strategist at freedom mortgage

00:59:05.550 --> 00:59:11.850 Jeff Goodman: And the Law Offices of Tom sciatica focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation who loves your book, by the way.

00:59:12.660 --> 00:59:19.740 Jeff Goodman: One more thing before we sign off, I'm Jeff Goodman, a real estate agent at Brown Harris Stevens in New York City and whether you're selling, buying leasing or renting

00:59:20.220 --> 00:59:32.550 Jeff Goodman: My team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City, real estate to help you with your real estate needs. You can reach us at 646-306-4761 our producers Ralph story or

00:59:33.060 --> 00:59:35.040 Jeff Goodman: Our engineer is the great Sam Leibowitz

00:59:35.730 --> 00:59:38.820 Jeff Goodman: Our special consultant is David Griffin of landmark branding.

00:59:39.510 --> 00:59:41.820 Jeff Goodman: Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.

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