Choate argued in several well-known cases before the Supreme Court. In his most noted case, he successfully argued that the 1894 income tax law was unconstitutional.
After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1854, Choate was admitted to the bar in Massachusetts in 1855 and New York in 1856. He was called on to perform important legal work in connection with the Standard Oil antitrust case, the Chinese Exclusion Acts, and railroad suits. As a Republican, he helped organize the Committee of Seventy that investigated graft in New York City finances, an investigation that led to the disclosure and destruction of the Tweed Ring. A gifted speaker, he was often called on to deliver major speeches for Republican candidates.
Joseph Hodges Choate
Choate made a number of arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. The most famous was the case of Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co. (1895),
Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co.