Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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The Honorable Charles S. House, Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court from 1971 through 1978, and a lifelong resident of Manchester, died on November 8, 1996, at the age of eighty-eight. He was appointed a judge of the Superior Court in 1953, elevated to the Supreme Court in 1965, and appointed chief justice in 1971. In 1978, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of seventy, he became a state trial referee.
Known for his irreproachable ethics, Chief Justice House refused to enter a room where his son, who ran for Congress in 1984, was speaking. He adhered to state ethics laws barring judges from political functions, although he was retired at the time. Highly regarded for his intellectual abilities, and legal skills, he is perhaps best known as the author of the majority opinion in the 1977 Horton v. Meskill decision. The landmark ruling declared Connecticut's public school financing system unconstitutional because it relied too heavily on local property taxes.
Chief Justice House received his A.B. in 1930 from Harvard College and his L.L.B. in 1933 from Harvard Law School. He served as an assistant state's attorney from 1942 to 1946, a Republican state representative from 1941 to 1943, a state senator for the fourth district from 1947 to 1951, the minority leader for the state Senate from 1949 to 1951, and a legal advisor to Governor John Lodge. before his appointment to the bench.
Chief Justice House was married to the former Virginia Brown and was the father of one son and two daughters.