Robert Houghwout Jackson (February 13, 1892 – October 9, 1954) was an American attorney and judge who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He had previously served as United States Solicitor General, and United States Attorney General, and is the only person to have held all three of those offices. Jackson was also notable for his work as the Chief United States Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals following World War II.
Jackson was admitted to the bar through a combination of reading law with an established attorney, and attending law school. He is the most recent justice without a law degree to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Jackson is well known for his advice that, "Any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect, in no uncertain terms, to make no statement to the police under any circumstances", and for his aphorism describing the Supreme Court, "We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final." Jackson developed a reputation as one of the best writers on the Supreme Court, and one of the most committed to enforcing due process as protection from overreaching federal agencies.
He is also known as Robert Houghwout Jackson.
On March 30, 1954, Jackson had suffered a massive heart attack. He was confined to the hospital until May 17, when he returned to the court. He remained functioning in his position as Justice until October 4, 1954. On Saturday, October 9, 1954, Jackson suffered a myocardial infarction. At 11:45 a.m. he died at 62. Funeral services were held in Washington's National Cathedral, and later in Jamestown's St. Luke's Church. All 8 of the other Supreme Court Justices traveled together to Jamestown, New York, to attend his funeral service and, for security purposes, this was the last time that the Supreme Court all traveled together. Other prominent guests included Thomas E. Dewey. he was interred near his boyhood home in Frewsburg, New York. His headstone reads ""He kept the ancient landmarks and built the new."
The Robert H. Jackson Center, located in Robert H. Jackson's hometown of Jamestown, New York, offers guided tours to visitors, as well as exhibits on Jackson's life, and collections of his writings, and photos from the International Military Tribunal. An extensive collection of Jackson's personal and judicial papers is archived at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, and is open for research. Smaller collections are available at several other repositories.
There are statues dedicated to Robert H. Jackson outside the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York, as well as the Robert H. Jackson field at the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport. The United States District Court for the Western District of New York main courthouse, which is located in Buffalo and opened in November, 2011, is dedicated to Justice Jackson and is named the Robert H. Jackson United States Courthouse.