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Adolphus Frederic St. Sure (March 9, 1869 – February 5, 1949) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Adolphus Frederic St. Sure
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
In office
June 30, 1947 – February 5, 1949
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
In office
February 23, 1925 – June 30, 1947
Appointed byCalvin Coolidge
Preceded byMaurice Timothy Dooling
Succeeded byHerbert Wilson Erskine
Personal details
Adolphus Frederic St. Sure

(1869-03-09)March 9, 1869
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
DiedFebruary 5, 1949(1949-02-05) (aged 79)
Political partyRepublican
Educationread law


Education and careerEdit

Born on March 9, 1869, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, St. Sure read law in 1895.[1] Under the tutelage of prominent Bay Area Republican politician Joseph R. Knowland, he eventually joined the Republican Party.[2] St. Sure entered private practice in Alameda County, California from 1895 to 1923.[1] He was city recorder for Alameda, California from 1893 to 1899.[1] He was city attorney for Alameda from 1915 to 1917.[1] He was a Judge for the Alameda County Superior Court from 1917 to 1922.[1] He was an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal for the First District from 1923 to 1925.[1]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

St. Sure was nominated by President Calvin Coolidge on February 16, 1925, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California vacated by Judge Maurice Timothy Dooling.[1] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 23, 1925, and received his commission the same day.[1] He assumed senior status on June 30, 1947.[1] His service terminated on February 5, 1949, due to his death.[1]

Judicial philosophy and notable casesEdit

St. Sure insisted during his early days on the bench that women be permitted to sit on federal juries, explaining he "had two years' experience with women jurors when I was on the superior court bench in Alameda County and found them conscientious, independent, highly intelligent, and willing to serve".[3]

In 1939, lettuce workers in Salinas, California, were blacklisted by employers for their union activities. Attorneys provided by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) brought action and St. Sure, in the first instance of its kind, issued an injunction holding blacklisting to be illegal.[4]

St. Sure was the federal judge who signed the order giving the United States Navy title to Treasure Island, California, after it formally served notice of its unilateral declaration taking ownership on April 17, 1942.[5]

On September 8, 1942, the case of Fred Korematsu, a United States citizen of Japanese ancestry who had evaded authorities to avoid internment, was heard before St. Sure in San Francisco.[6] Korematsu's conviction was eventually appealed to the United States Supreme Court and on December 18, 1944, the Court issued its landmark Korematsu v. United States decision.

Personal life and deathEdit

St. Sure married Ida Laura Pettes in Alameda in 1897.[citation needed] He died February 5, 1949, and is buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "St. Sure, Adolphus Frederic - Federal Judicial Center".
  2. ^ Jennifer Marie Winter. "Thirty Years of Collective Bargaining Joseph Paul St. Sure: Management Labor Negotiator 1902 - 1966". Archived from the original on 2006-10-08. Retrieved 2006-05-27.
  3. ^ "Death Takes St. Sure" (February 5, 1949), San Francisco Chronicle pp. ___
  4. ^ "ILWU Local 19 Seattle Washington".
  5. ^ "Treasure Isle Goes to Navy". San Francisco News, April 17, 1942.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Chronology". 9 November 2004.

External linksEdit