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Parker, Alton Brooks

Alton Brooks Parker, 1852–1926, American jurist, U.S. presidential candidate (1904), b. Cortland, N.Y. He practiced law in Kingston, N.Y., and was (1877–85) surrogate of Ulster co., N.Y. He became important in state Democratic politics and successfully managed (1885) the campaign of David B. Hill for governor of New York. Parker served as justice of the New York supreme court (1885–89) and of the old general term of the supreme court (1892–94) before (upon the general term's abolition) he moved to the New York court of appeals, finally serving as chief judge of the court of appeals (1897–1904). As a jurist he became noted for his liberal decisions in labor cases. He resigned as chief judge after receiving (1904) the Democratic party nomination for the U.S. presidency. Division within the party over the currency issue and the popularity of Theodore Roosevelt helped make Parker's defeat overwhelming. Returning to law practice, he defended the American Federation of Labor in the Danbury Hatters' Case and served as counsel for the prosecution in the impeachment of Gov. William Sulzer.

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