Levi Stewart Udall: Mormon Supreme Court Justice

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Levi Stewart Udall Mormon Supreme Court Justice

Levi Stewart Udall was a lawyer and a Supreme Court Chief Justice. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Udall was born on January 20, 1891, in St. Johns, Arizona. Although he did not earn a law degree, he was admitted to the Arizona bar in 1922. He was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Arizona the year he died.

He is a member of the multi-generational Udall political family. He was the first of David King Udall’s children to run for political office, running for clerk to the Arizona Superior Court in 1922 as a Democrat. His older brother John decided to also run for the office as a Republican and won.

In 1946, Udall was elected to the Arizona Supreme Court where he served until his death on May 30, 1960. He served as the Supreme Court chief justice from 1951 to 1952 and from 1957 to 1958. In 1948, he wrote the majority opinion of the Arizona State Supreme Court granting Native Americans living on reservations the right to vote.

Udall was married to Louise Lee (granddaughter of John D. Lee and Jacob Hamblin). They were the parents of six children, including Stewart Udall, a U.S. Congressman from Arizona and U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and Mo Udall, a U.S. Congressman and presidential candidate.