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Monday, February 13, 2006

Chief Justice Tells a Story About Graham Richard

Shepard Connects the Dots Between Justice Alito and Mayor Richard

Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard gave a well-received talk on Indiana and the Constitutional issues of the Civil War at the Lincoln Museum on Saturday evening.

Mayor Graham Richard had been scheduled to introduce the Chief Justice but had a date conflict. Fort Wayne Fire Chief Tim Davie stood in for the Mayor.

Richard and Shepard were classmates at Princeton University.

Shepard took time at the beginning of his remarks to relate a story regarding Mayor Richard's time at Princeton. Shepard told of the somewhat rigid social hierarchy that had been a traditional part of the Princeton academic scene. These included exclusive "eating clubs" that were discriminatory in several senses of that term.

Shepard noted that much had been made during the confirmation hearings of Samuel Alito for the United States Supreme Court of his possible association with a group known as the Concerned Princeton Alumni. Shepard said that there wasn't much to say of a group in which Alito didn't participate.

He said that what was more telling of Justice Alito's time at Princeton was that he ate with a group that had been formed in the late 1960's as a reaction to the restrictive and exclusive "eating clubs." The new group was formed to be openly inclusive of people from all races, all family backgrounds, all wealth strata, and all religious backgrounds.

The new facility was Stevenson Hall, named after Adlai Stevenson. Shepard said that one of the founders of the eating group of Stevenson Hall was Fort Wayne's Mayor Graham Richard.

Shepard said that it could never have occured to them at the time that Stevenson Hall would have a connection to the confirmation of a member of the United States Supreme Court. He added that it was an exhibition at an earlier age of the kind of respect and inclusiveness and advancement of new ideas that the people of Fort Wayne see in their Mayor today.

Alito spoke of Stevenson Hall at his confirmation hearings.

Notes: Shepard went on from Princeton to Yale Law School where he was a classmate of Paul Helmke, Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton.

Another graduate of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School is Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (1971).

See Chief Justice Shepard's article
"For Human Rights: Slave Cases and the Indiana Supreme Court," Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, 15 (Summer 2003), 34–41.

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