George A. Malcolm

Last updated

George Arthur Malcolm
George A. Malcolm (1881-1961).jpg
17th Associate Justice
of the Philippine Supreme Court
In office
October 11, 1917 February 1, 1936
Appointed by Woodrow Wilson
Preceded by Grant T. Trent
Succeeded by Jose P. Laurel
Personal details
Born(1881-11-05)November 5, 1881
Concord, Michigan
DiedMay 16, 1961(1961-05-16) (aged 79)
Los Angeles, California
Alma mater University of Michigan

George Arthur Malcolm (November 5, 1881 — May 16, 1961) was an American lawyer who emerged as an influential figure in the development of the practice of law in the Philippines in the 20th century. At age 35, he was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, where he would serve for 19 years. His most enduring legacy perhaps lies in his role in the establishment of the College of Law at the University of the Philippines.

Contents

Background

Malcolm (2nd row, 2nd from right), pictured in 1904 together with fellow founding members of the Acacia fraternity. Acacia founders.jpg
Malcolm (2nd row, 2nd from right), pictured in 1904 together with fellow founding members of the Acacia fraternity.

Born in Concord, Michigan, Malcolm obtained his degree in law from the University of Michigan in 1906. While at the university, he was among the founding members of the Acacia fraternity. [1]

Following his graduation, Malcolm proceeded to the Philippines, which was then a colony of the United States. Malcolm served in several minor positions in the colonial government, starting as a clerk in the Bureau of Health, then subsequently in the Bureau of Justice. He rose quickly in rank, and by 1911, he was acting attorney-general for the Philippines. [2]

Establishment of the U.P. College of Law

Malcolm Hall at the U.P. Diliman campus. MalcolmHall.jpg
Malcolm Hall at the U.P. Diliman campus.

It was through Malcolm's efforts that the first English language law classes were established in the Philippines. The Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines had initially resisted Malcolm's proposal for the establishment of a law college within the University. Malcolm thus arranged for the Manila YMCA to offer law courses, which commenced in 1910. Malcolm acted as the Secretary of these law courses. Within a year, the Board of Regents relented and the University of the Philippines adopted these classes by formally establishing the College of Law on January 12, 1911. [3]

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sherman Moreland had initially been designated as the acting dean of the college, while Malcolm was appointed as the College Secretary. Almost immediately, Moreland turned over his office to Malcolm, who served as acting dean while the University tried in vain to recruit American law professors to become the permanent dean of the college. [4] While there was some resistance in the idea of appointing Malcolm as the first permanent Dean of the College of Law, [4] Malcolm was finally appointed to the post on October 11, 1911. [5]

Malcolm served as dean for the next six years. He also taught courses in constitutional law and in legal ethics. Three students who graduated during his deanship would eventually become Presidents of the Philippines  José P. Laurel, Manuel Roxas, and Elpidio Quirino. Several other of Malcolm's students would later serve in the Supreme Court, including also Laurel, who would actually succeed to Malcolm's seat on the Supreme Court in 1936.

Following the relocation of the university campus to Diliman, Quezon City after World War II, the building that housed the College of Law was named "Malcolm Hall" after Malcolm, a name that is carried as to this day.

Supreme Court Justice

In 1917, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson appointed Malcolm to sit on the Philippine Supreme Court. At age 35, he was the youngest person ever appointed as Justice to the High Court. He would serve in the Court until 1936, when he was forced to retire upon the enactment of the 1935 Constitution, which limited Supreme Court membership to Filipinos. Upon his retirement after 19 years, Malcolm had written 3,340 opinions for the Court. [6]

Several of Malcolm's opinions for the Court remain influential to date. In Villavicencio v. Lukban, 39 Phil. 778 (1919), he spoke for the Court in granting the writ of habeas corpus to counter the deportation of prostitutes to Mindanao as ordered by Manila mayor Justo Lukban. In Villaflor v. Summers, 41 Phil. 62 (1920), Malcolm wrote that a judicial order compelling a woman to submit to a physical examination to determine if she was pregnant did not violate the constitutional proscription against self-incrimination. In Borromeo v. Mariano, 41 Phil. 329 (1921), and Concepcion v. Paredes, 42 Phil. 499 (1921), Malcolm authored opinions that shielded the members of the judiciary from the diminution of their powers by legislative action. In Alejandrino v. Quezon, 46 Phil. 83 (1924), the Court through Malcolm ruled it had no power to reverse the suspension of a senator by his colleagues in the Senate. In Government v. Springer, Malcolm refused to affirm the law that granted the Senate President and Speaker of the House the right to vote shares in a government corporation, citing that such authority did not fall within the functions of the legislature. Malcolm's opinion would be affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States upon appellate review, 277 U.S. 189 (1928), though the dissent therein of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. proved more memorable in time, with its eloquent pronouncement that "[t]he great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish and divide fields of black and white. Even the more specific of them are found to terminate in a penumbra shading gradually from one extreme to the other."

Bust of George Malcolm in Baguio City GeorgeAMalcolm-bust-2017.jpg
Bust of George Malcolm in Baguio City
Malcolm Square in central Baguio City 2017 MalcolmSquare.jpg
Malcolm Square in central Baguio City 2017

Malcolm's majority opinion in Rubi v. Provincial Board, 33 Phil. 660 (1919), remains controversial to date. The Court therein affirmed a provincial government resolution directed at the Mangyan ethnic minority, requiring the confinement of members of "non-Christian tribes" to a specially created reservation. Likening the plight of the Mangyan to that of Native Americans, the Court classified the Mangyan as "wards of the Filipino". "By the fostering care of a wise Government, may not these unfortunates advance in the "habits and arts of civilization?" Would it be advisable for the courts to intrude upon a plan, carefully formulated, and apparently working out for the ultimate good of these people?" [7]

In Baguio City housing the summer quarters of the Supreme Court, the city square on Session Road near the public market is named Malcolm Square in his honor, and a bronze bust of Malcolm is located in the square. [8]

Later years

Plaque Commemorating George Malcolm at the U.P. College of Law MalcolmPlaque.JPG
Plaque Commemorating George Malcolm at the U.P. College of Law

After his retirement from the Philippine Supreme Court, Malcolm was appointed as a legal adviser to U.S. High Commissioners Frank Murphy and Paul V. McNutt. In 1939, he was appointed as Attorney General of Puerto Rico. However, he would later fall into dispute with Governor Rexford Tugwell, and he ended up being fired in 1942. [9] As a sign of great respect for him by the Philippine legal community, he was granted honorary Philippine citizenship by the Philippine Congress in 1955. [10]

Malcolm later settled back in the United States, though he would make occasional visits to the Philippines and to the law school housed in the building named after him. [11] He died aged 79 in Los Angeles on May 16, 1961. [12] His daughter, Mary MacKenzie Malcolm Leydorf, died in 2013 at the age of 79. He is survived by five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Malcolm was a godfather to Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera [13] who, in 1979, became the second woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Papers

A collection of Malcolm's papers, including series relating to his service in the Philippines and in Puerto Rico, is housed at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan and open for research. [14]

Some notable opinions

Notes

  1. Patrick m. Kirkwood (2014). "Patrick M. Kirkwood, "'Michigan Men' in the Philippines and the Limits of Self-Determination in the Progressive Era," Michigan Historical Review Vol. 40, No. 2 (Fall 2014): 80". Michigan Historical Review. 40 (2): 63–86. doi:10.5342/michhistrevi.40.2.0063. JSTOR   10.5342/michhistrevi.40.2.0063.
  2. Justices of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Vol. I, p. 84
  3. American Colonial Careerist, p. 96
  4. 1 2 American Colonial Careerist, p. 97
  5. "History of the U.P. College of Law". Archived from the original on 2007-10-19. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
  6. American Colonial Careerist, p. 139
  7. "Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro" . Retrieved 2007-10-29.
  8. "Famous Americans in Baguio". GoBaguio.com. Retrieved 27 Nov 2010.
  9. American Colonial Careerist, p. 249-251
  10. Republic Act No. 1386, Adopting the Honorable George A. Malcolm as Son of the Philippines and conferring upon him all the rights, privileges and prerogatives of Philippine citizenship. 20 Lawyers J 512 (Oct. 31, 1955)
  11. Patrick M. Kirkwood, "'Michigan Men' in the Philippines and the Limits of Self-Determination in the Progressive Era," Michigan Historical Review, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Fall 2014): 83.
  12. Justices of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Vol. I, p. 85
  13. American Colonial Careerist, p. 79
  14. "George A. Malcolm Papers at the University of Michigan" . Retrieved 20 June 2017.

Related Research Articles

President of the Philippines Head of state and of government of the Republic of the Philippines

The president of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The president is directly elected by the people, and is one of only two nationally elected executive officials, the other being the vice president of the Philippines. However, four vice presidents have assumed the presidency without having been elected to the office, by virtue of a president's intra-term death or resignation.

Sergio Osmeña 4th President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946

Sergio Osmeña Sr. was a Filipino politician who served as the fourth President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He was Vice President under Manuel L. Quezon. Upon Quezon's sudden death in 1944, Osmeña succeeded him, at age 65, becoming the oldest holder of the office. A founder of the Nacionalista Party, Osmeña was also the first Visayan to become president.

Jose P. Laurel president of the Second Philippine Republic

José Paciano Laurel y García was a Filipino politician and judge. He was the president of the Second Philippine Republic, a Japanese puppet state when occupied during World War II, from 1943 to 1945. Since the administration of President Diosdado Macapagal (1961–1965), Laurel has been officially recognized by later administrations as a former president of the Philippines.

José Abad Santos fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and served as Acting President of the Philippines during World War II

José Abad Santos was the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. He briefly served as the Acting President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and Acting Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during World War II, on behalf of President Quezon after the government went in exile to the United States. After about two months, he was executed by the Japanese forces for refusing to cooperate during their occupation of the country.

Dean Conant Worcester U.S. zoologist and ornithologist

Dean Conant Worcester, D.Sc.(hon.), FRGS was an American zoologist, public official, and authority on the Philippines, born at Thetford, Vermont, and educated at the University of Michigan. He first went to the Philippines in 1887 as a junior member of a scientific expedition, and built a controversial career in the early American colonial government beginning in 1899 based upon his experience in the country. He was fiercely opposed to Philippine independence and a firm believer in the colonial mission. He served as the influential Secretary of the Interior of the Philippine Islands until 1913 when he began focusing on his business interests. He died in the Philippines having organized and managed businesses that included coconut farming and processing, cattle raising and a maritime shipping line.

Cecilia Muñoz-Palma Filipino judge

Cecilia Muñoz-Palma was a Filipino jurist and the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines. She was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ferdinand Marcos on October 29, 1973, and served until she reached the then-mandatory retirement age of 65.

Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez Filipino judge

Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez is a Filipino jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 2000 to 2008. She was the last appointment to the Court made by President Joseph Estrada.

Leonardo A. Quisumbing was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. He was appointed by President Fidel Ramos in 1998 and retired as the most senior Associate Justice of the Court on his 70th birthday in 2009.

Anacleto Díaz Filipino judge

Anacleto Díaz was a Filipino jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Enrique Fernando 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines

Enrique Medina Fernando was the 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. A noted constitutionalist and law professor, he served in the Supreme Court for 18 years, including 6 years as Chief Justice.

Ramón Avanceña Filipino judge

Ramón Quimson Avanceña was a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. He served from 1925 to 1941, when he resigned at the beginning of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II. He was from Villa de Arevalo, Iloilo City

Victorino Mapa Filipino judge

Victorino Montano Mapa was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and later, as the second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines under the American colonial Insular Government.

University of the Philippines College of Law law school of the University of the Philippines

The University of the Philippines College of Law is the law school of the University of the Philippines Diliman. Formally established in 1911, it is the third oldest continually-operating law school in the Philippines and is. Since 1948, it has been located in UP Diliman in Quezon City, the flagship of the University of the Philippines System's eight constituent universities. Until the 1970s, night classes of the college were conducted in UP Manila. Beginning in 2016, classes are also being held at the UP Bonifacio Global City campus in Taguig, which is an extension campus of UP Diliman.

Lorenzo Tañada Filipino politician

Lorenzo "Ka Tanny" Martinez Tañada Sr., PLH, was a Filipino nationalist lawyer, senator, and human and civil rights activist best known for his staunch opposition to martial law under Ferdinand Marcos and to the continued presence of US military bases in the Philippines. Serving in the Philippine Senate for 24 years beginning in 1947, he was the longest-serving senator in Philippine history and is referred to as the "grand old man of Philippine politics."

Ruben T. Reyes is a Filipino jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 2007 to 2009.

Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera Filipino judge

Ameurfina Aguinaldo Melencio-Herrera served as an Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court from 1979-92. She was the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, filling the vacancy left by the retirement of the first female Supreme Court Justice, Cecilia Muñoz-Palma.

Gregorio S. Araneta Filipino lawyer and businessman

Don Gregorio Soriano Araneta was a Filipino lawyer, businessman, and nationalist, during the Spanish and American colonial periods.

Gregorio Perfecto Filipino politician

Gregorio Perfecto was a Filipino journalist, politician and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from 1945 to 1949. A controversial figure who was described as an “apostle of liberal causes,” Perfecto was notable for his libertarian views, his colorful writing style, and the frequency of his dissenting opinions while on the Supreme Court.

Diosdado Peralta Filipino judge

Diosdado "Dado" Madarang Peralta is a Filipino jurist. He was appointed as the 26th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines by President Rodrigo Duterte on October 23, 2019. He previously served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines from January 13, 2009 to October 22, 2019. He is the third Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice to be appointed to the High Tribunal.

Mariano del Castillo Filipino judge

Mariano C. Del Castillo was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

References

Preceded by
Grant T. Trent
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
1917–1936
Succeeded by
José P. Laurel
Preceded by
none
Dean of the U.P. College of Law
1911–1917
Succeeded by
Jorge C. Bocobo