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W. H. Seward Thomson

W. H. Seward Thomson

12th Commissioned Judge,
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania


Federal Judicial Service:
U. S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

Nominated byWoodrow Wilson on July 7, 1914, to a seat vacated by James S. Young; Confirmed by the Senate on July 21, 1914; received commission on July 21, 1914; sworn in July 30, 1914.

Assumed senior status on February 21, 1928.

Service terminated on November 29, 1932, due to death.

Case of Interest:
In U.S. v. U.S. Brewers’ Association, 239 F. 163, 169 (W.D.Pa. 1916), Judge Thomson upheld restrictions against corporate campaign contributions in federal elections stating:

…that an election is intended to be the free and untrammeled choice of the electors; that any interference with the right of the elector to make up his mind how he will vote is as much an interference with his right to vote as if prevented from depositing his ballot; that the concerted use of money is one of the many dangerous agencies in corrupting the elector and debauching the election; that any law the purpose of which is to enable a free and intelligent choice, and an untrammeled expression of that choice in the ballot box, is a regulation of the manner of holding the election-- the power of Congress to prohibit corporations of the state from making money contributions in connection with any such election appears to follow as a natural and necessary consequence.

Professional Career:
Private practice, Beaver, Pennsylvania, 1881-1894
Private practice, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1894-1914

Washington and Jefferson College, LL.D., 1876-1877
Marshall College, 1871-1873
Read law, 1880
Muskingum College, LL.D., 1915

Born December 16, 1856, in Beaver County, PA
Died November 29, 1932