Magruder Dies: Judge Abolished Mass. Blue Law
Calvert Magruder '16, a former Harvard professor and the Federal Judge responsible for the death of the Massachusetts Sunday blue law, died Thursday at the Wedgewood Nursing home in Newton.
A former vice dean of the Harvard Law School, Magruder was a general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board 1934-35 and of the Wage-Hour Division of the Labor Department 1938-39.
Magruder served on the Federal bench--the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston--for 20 years after his appointment by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. He ruled on a number of important issues, including the appeal of the denaturalization of gambler Frank Costello.
In 1950, Magruder held Massachusetts' Sunday blue law unconstitutional. He ruled that it constituted an establishment of religion in violation of the first amendment to the Constitution.
Magruder was a witness for Alger Hiss at his New York prejury trial in 1949. Hiss was convicted of passing secret State Department documents to Whittaker Chambers.
In 1961 President Kennedy selected Magruder, who had retired in 1954, to head a special panel to advise on problems of ethics in Government.