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Justice Chas. D. Long

Justice Chas. D. Long image
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The convention at Detroit properly voiced the will of Republicana througrbout the state, and met the expeetation of the wliole people by its unnnimous aud hearty renomlnation of .lust ice Long for the supretpe bench. In this action it not ouly carrled out tho Michigan custom of giving a second term to an official who has proven worthy, but pald a deserved tribute to oue who has been broadening in character and growing in popular favor l'or mauy years. Though wltb several generations of New England blood in his veins, on bolh hls fathers and inother's sirte, Judge Long is, perbaps, the most distlnctly a Michigan man of any of the eminent jurists who have given liigli rank to our State Stroreme Court. His parents carne, in 1810. from Tewksbur.v, Mass., to Grand Blanc, Oenesee county, and tbere he was bom, June 14, 1841. Animated by a strong desire for a thorough education, at the age of 13 he left home for the purpose of obtaining in the schools at Flint better opportunities than were offered in his natlve town. He was obliged wainly to support himself, vvhlcb he did by teaching winters, commenclng this work before lic was 1(5 years old. Young Long had completed his prepara tory studies aud was ready lo enter Michigan University, vvhen, in 1801, the breaking out of the war presentcd to hiin as to niany other young men in the noiih. the alternative of carrying out cherished personal designs, or of listening to his country's cali for patriotic service. He did not hesitate, but, in August of that year, cnlisted as a private In Co. A, Kigth Michigan Infantry. His service in the army lasteü ouly eight moulhs, but it left a heritage of pain and distress whlch was to endure for the rest of his life. In the batüe of Wilnitngtou Island, Georgia, April Ui, 1862, he recelved two severe wouuds. By the first he lost his left arm, which was amputated above the elbow. ïhe second was even more distressing in its results, a rifle ball passing through his hip and KtMl.) (UU lUUyiiifi Xll LilC UlfpWUC groin, wliere it remains ernbedded to this day. The wound occasloned by tliis ball has never healed, but has now been the source of pain and care for more than the average life time of a man. For nearly 35 years it has been a constant reminder of his military service, a perpetual discomfort It has to be earefuily dressed every day, requiring. the frequent services of an attendant. These wounds, of course, put manual labor out of the question for the rest of liis life, but did not daunt his spirit. On liis return to Flint Mr. Long eom-' menced tlie study of law. In 1SG4 he was electcd clerk of Genesee county, and ín this office he servèd four terms of two years each. Besides giving him a comfortable support this position afforded a welcome opportunity to supplement his law studies by practical knowledge of the form of pleadings and the methods of court proceedure. Following this he was eleeted prosecuting attorney for three terms. from 1874 to 1880. In additiou to these local offices he was. iu 18S0, ono of the supervisors, for Michigan, of the leath census; was appointed judge Advócale by Covernor .lerome; was a uiember of tbc State Military board under Governor Alger, and was appointed by Governor Luce one of the comniissioners for Michigan to attend the Centeuial celebration of the adoption of the constitution of the United States. He has for the past six years been president of the Detroit College of Law. While holding the office oí eounty clerk Mr. Long was adtnitted to the bar. i'oiineci a law partnership with George i. Gold. and entered upon a practice whieh, for the next ten years, was large and varied. It covered altnost every kind at civil case except admirality practice. This, witli the knowledge of criminal law. whicli his service as prosecuting attoruey gave, furnished au admirable equipment in general, and special law for the higher position t which he was, at a later day. called. In 1SS7 the Lcgislatuie inercased the number of supremo court judges from four lo five. and extended the term to ten years. Mr Long was noiuinated for the position ihus createil. and was elected by a handsome majority. Xotwithstanding liis physical disability he has for the past iiiue years been one of the most industrious members of a very industrious court. He bas sat in almost all cases that have came before the court, and his written opinions, scattered througb 40 volumes of reports, are tine examples of clear statement, sound principie and logical argument. Ever si nee iie lirst gave serious tbought to political questions Judge Long has been a believer in the principies of the Iiepublican party, and was for years ainong the active party workers in Genesee county, but the charge of partisanship has never been made against his course on the bench. This is perhaps best illustrated by the decisión on the Miner law for ciioosing presedential electors by congresslonal disti-icts, instead of on a general ticket In this case a strong appeal was made1 to party feeling on the ground tast the :aw was unjust and contrary to all precedents, but the court held it to be coustitutional, and in this decisión Judge Long coneuned. This action was recognizod by many, even by the Democratie papers, as a notable instance of non-partisanship In the consideration of a constitutional question. The same fairness was shown in the opinions written by Judge Long in tha contest between Judge Adsit and Judge Burch in the Kent circuit, and in the Grand Rapids mayorality case, where Weston and Belknap were rival claimants. Although the court has, for two years past been uuanimously Iiepublican, not even the charge of political partnership on the bench has been made against Judge Long or any of his associates, and this is not the least of the considerations that may be urged in favor of his reeleclion.


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