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Judson Harmon


In office
April 8, 1895 – March 4, 1897
President Grover Cleveland
Preceded by Richard Olney
Succeeded by Joseph McKenna

In office
January 11, 1909 – January 13, 1913
Preceded by Andrew L. Harris
Succeeded by James M. Cox

Born February 3, 1846(1846-02-03)
Newtown, Ohio
Died February 22, 1927 (aged 81)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Olive Harmon
Alma mater Denison University
University of Cincinnati
Profession Lawyer

Judson Harmon (February 3, 1846 – February 22, 1927) was a Democratic politician from Ohio. He served as United States Attorney General under President Grover Cleveland and later served as the 46th Governor of Ohio.

Harmon was born in Newtown, Ohio. He graduated from Denison University in 1866. He graduated from the Law School of Cincinnati College and was admitted to the bar in 1869. Harmon was elected judge of the Common Pleas Court in 1876, but left months later to run unsuccessfully for the State Senate. He was elected judge of the Superior Court of Cincinnati in 1878 and served until he resigned in 1887 to resume the practice of law.

He was appointed Attorney General by President Cleveland on June 8, 1895 upon the elevation of Richard Olney to become United States Secretary of State, serving out the remainder of Cleveland's term. As Attorney General, he issued the most explicit statement of what became known as the American doctrine of absolute sovereignty, that "the rules, principles and precedents of international law impose no liability or obligation upon the United States," in a case involving a claim by Mexico for damages from diverting the waters of the Rio Grande.

Harmon was elected Governor of Ohio in 1908, and two two-year terms from 1909-1913 - defeating eventual president Warren G. Harding for re-election in 1910 - before retiring.

Harmon County, Oklahoma, is named for him.

Legal offices
Preceded by
Richard Olney
United States Attorney General
1895–1897
Succeeded by
Joseph McKenna
Political offices
Preceded by
Andrew L. Harris
Governor of Ohio
1909–1913
Succeeded by
James M. Cox
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