The Robert H. Jackson Center of Jamestown will honor Justice Robert H. Jackson's enduring legacy at an annual event commemorating his birthday to be held on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Warren County Courthouse in Warren, Pa.
This free event is open to the general public. Born in Spring Creek Township, Justice Jackson will be celebrated in the county of his birth-Warren County, Pa. Keynote speaker for this special evening will be Warren County native Benjamin Snyder, law clerk to John G. Roberts Jr., chief justice of the United States, during the court's 2012-13 term. The focus of the keynote lecture will be ''Law Clerk Reflections'' as Snyder shares his experiences and gives an overview of the work that law clerks perform, and reflects on the similarities and differences between the court in Jackson's day and today.
In addition to the Warren connections that helped Snyder secure the clerkship at the court, there is an interesting line of succession that forms a ''Warren Connection'' between Benjamin Snyder and Robert H. Jackson: Jackson and Snyder are both native sons of Warren County; Snyder is a former law clerk for Roberts, current chief justice of the United States; Roberts was a law clerk for William H. Rehnquist, chief justice of the United States; and William H. Rehnquist was law clerk to Jackson.
Jackson was a country lawyer who went on to be solicitor general, U.S. attorney general, U.S. Supreme Court justice, and chief American prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Trials. Jackson's amazing life is a fine testament to the story of what an individual can do in America. Through intelligence and hard work, he rose from humble beginnings to have a significant impact on the nation and the world - an impact that is still very relevant today.
Snyder grew up in Warren, and graduated from Warren Area High School in 2002. He studied political science and American studies at Northwestern University, where he was also involved in the Oyez Project, an online archive of Supreme Court oral arguments going back to 1955. From 2006 through 2008, Snyder worked on an international HIV/AIDS relief program at the U.S. Department of State. He spent several months on detail to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives as the House considered the eventual $48 billion reauthorization of the HIV/AIDS program. From 2008 through 2011, Snyder attended Harvard Law School. Upon graduation, he spent a year in Columbus, Ohio, clerking for the Hon. Jeffrey Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Snyder is currently an associate at the law firm of Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C.
Earlier in the day, Jackson Center President and Chief Executive Officer James C. Johnson will deliver a presentation entitled ''Children in War: The Phenomenon of Child Soldiers'' and host a question-and-answer session based on his experiences during a special assembly at Warren High School. Johnson formerly served as chief of prosecutions for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, overseeing the trial and investigative teams which prosecuted persons accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international law. The program will link Jackson's contributions to international law and show the relevance of his ideals of justice and fairness in dealing with crimes against humanity both today and yesterday.
These programs are possible through the generous support of the following sponsors: Allegheny College; Community Foundation of Warren County; H. Robert Hampson Attorney at Law; Interlectric Corporation; PNC Bank; Targeted Pet Treats; United Refining/Red Apple Group; Warren/Forest Bar Association; Whirley DrinkWorks; and Winans Insurance Agency.