1954 December 14

Arthur Garfield Hays, Noted ACLU Lawyer, Dies


Arthur Garfield Hays was the longtime Co-General Counsel for the ACLU (founded January 19, 1920). He was often on the streets in the fight for civil liberties, including the coal fields of West Virginia. In one notable episode, he was physically evicted from Jersey City, New Jersey (May 19, 1938) in a struggle that resulted in the landmark Supreme Court case, Hague v. C.I.O., on June 5, 1939, which affirmed the right of freedom of assembly. Hays also handled the case of Winfred Lynn, an African American landscape gardener, who courageously challenged the racially segregated draft during World War II. (See February 3, 1944). Hays died just one day before Bill of Rights Day, December 15.

Watch a rare television interview with Hays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOK6eu9s4Zk

Learn more about Hays’s career with the ACLU: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)

Read Hays’s account of his early cases: Arthur Garfield Hays, Let Freedom Ring (1928)

The Arthur Garfield Hays Program at NYU carries on his legacyhttp://www.law.nyu.edu/academics/fellowships/haysprogram

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