CCAR Resolution on Hon. Jacob Trieber, z”l
August 11, 2015
WHEREAS Jacob Trieber was the first American Jew to serve as U.S. District Judge; and
WHEREAS Judge Trieber was appointed by President William McKinley to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas on July 26, 1900, and served until his death on September 17, 1927; and
WHEREAS Judge Trieber was an outspoken opponent of racism and advocate for women’s rights ahead of his time;[i] and
WHEREAS in Judge Trieber’s best known ruling, in United States v. Hodges, he ruled in favor of African American workers who had lost their jobs when “whitecappers” intimidated their employers, holding that the 13th Amendment guarantees a right to work, irrespective of race;[ii] but
WHEREAS a regressive Supreme Court reversed Judge Trieber’s ruling in 1906, an injustice that would not be corrected until the adoption of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and
WHEREAS Judge Trieber’s legacy has been heretofore unheralded; but
WHEREAS the Arkansas congressional delegation has unanimously proposed legislation to name the Federal Building in Helena, Arkansas, where Judge Trieber lived and served, as the Jacob Trieber Federal Building, United States Post Office, and United States Court House;[iii] and
WHEREAS that legislation was adopted in the Senate on August 5, 2015[iv]; therefore
BE IT RESOLVED that the Central Conference of American Rabbis:
[ii] Pamela S. Karlan, “Contracting the Thirteenth Amendment: Hodges v. United States, Boston University Law Review, Vol 85:783-809, 2005.
[iii] H.R. 2954 by Rep. Crawford, for himself, Rep. Westerman, Rep. Womack, and Rep. Hill; and S. 1707 by Sen. Boozman, for himself and Sen. Cotton.
[iv] S. 1707.