Herbert Hoover photo

The President's News Conference

January 12, 1932


THE PRESIDENT. I have the following letter from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes this morning:

"In accordance with the provision of the Judicial Code as amended Section 260--Title 28, United States Code 375, I tender my resignation as Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The condition of my health makes it a duty to break off connections that I cannot leave without deep regret after the affectionate relations of many years and the absorbing interests that have filled my life. But the time has come, and I bow to the inevitable. I have nothing but kindness to remember from you and from my brethren. My last word should be one of grateful thanks."

I have replied to the Justice:

"I am in receipt of your letter of January 12th tendering your resignation from the Supreme Court of the United States. I must, of course, accept it.

"No appreciation I could express would even feebly represent the gratitude of the American people for your whole life of wonderful public service, from the time you were an officer in the Civil War to this day-- near your ninety-first anniversary. I know of no American retiring from public service with such a sense of affection and devotion of the whole people."


I am sending up to the Senate today the name of Judge Wilkerson of Chicago, by way of promotion from the district to the circuit bench, as a part of a recognition of the service of the members of the Department of Justice in Chicago in breaking up the gangster life of that city.

Otherwise, I have no further news for you.

Note: President Hoover's two hundred and twenty-ninth news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, January 12, 1932.

On the same day, the White House issued a text of the President's letter accepting the resignation of Oliver Wendell Holmes as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (see Item 16), and a list of endorsers for Judge Wilkerson to be U.S. Judge, Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

Judge Wilkerson's nomination encountered opposition from organized labor and on December 1, he requested that his nomination not be resubmitted to the Senate (see Item 418).

Herbert Hoover, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207833

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