PHILADELPHIA | Arlin Adams, a longtime stalwart of the federal bench in Philadelphia who was considered at least twice for the U.S. Supreme Court, has died. He was 94.
A spokeswoman at Adams’ former law firm, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, said he died Monday night. She did not immediately have any other details.
Adams spent 18 years on the bench of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, retiring in 1987.
He told The Associated Press in a 1990 interview that a high point in his career came when President Gerald Ford considered him for the U.S. Supreme Court in 1975.
“I don’t think I was entitled to it,” Adams said. “There were many other lawyers and judges more qualified, I thought, and just being considered was honor enough.”
He was one of two finalists but lost out to John Paul Stevens.
Adams was also President Richard Nixon’s second choice for the high court in 1972, behind William H. Rehnquist, who went on to become chief justice.
A lifelong Republican, Adams worked on Nixon’s successful presidential campaign in 1968. That led to his appeals court appointment.
After retiring, Adams served as independent counsel in an investigation of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that uncovered widespread corruption and won numerous convictions.
He later served on various boards and wrote books on law and religion.
Adams was born in Philadelphia and earned a law degree at University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1947.