Choate, Joseph H. Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

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.Income tax;Choate, Joseph H.[choate, Joseph H.]Income tax;Choate, Joseph H.[choate, Joseph H.]

Joseph Hodges Choate

(Library of Congress)

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),[case]Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co.[Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co.];Choate, Joseph H.[choate, Joseph H.] in which Choate established the unconstitutionality of the 1894 income tax law. From 1899 to 1905, he served as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, settling the Alaskan boundary dispute between Canada and the United States. Choate also secured the abrogation of the 1850 Clayton-Bulwer Treaty by means of the 1901 Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, which opened the way for U.S. construction of the Panama Canal.Choate, Joseph H.

Antitrust law

Income tax

Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co.

Sixteenth Amendment

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