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The three branches of the United States federal government are the executive, legislative, and judicial. From 1789 to 1866, the official title was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.As the highest judicial officer in the country, the Chief Justice acts as a chief administrative officer for the federal courts, appoints the director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and serves as spokesman for the judicial branch.In general, the Chief Justice has not previously served as an Associate Justice before his appointment to the highest position. John Marshall, who served longer than any other Chief Justice, died as the result of an accident at the age of 79.
Roger B. Taney
Salmon P. Chase
Morrison R. Waite
Melville W. Fuller
Edward D. White
William H. Taft
Charles E. Hughes
Harlan F. Stone
Frederick M. Vinson
John G. Roberts Jr.
The Five Worst Supreme Court Justices In American History, Ranked
Today is the official release date for my book, Injustices: The Supreme Court&rsquos History of Comforting the Comforted and Afflicting the Afflicted. As you might guess from the title, it is not particularly complimentary of the Supreme Court as an institution. As the book&rsquos jacket explains, &ldquothe justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights and its willingness to place elections for sale.&rdquo
Even amidst this dark history, certain justices stand out as particularly mean-spirited, ideological or unconcerned about their duty to follow the text of the Constitution. Based on my review of over 150 years of Supreme Court history in Injustices, here are the five jurists who stand out as the worst justices in American history:
1) Justice Stephen Johnson Field
As a sitting justice in 1880, Justice Stephen Johnson Field launched a dark horse bid for the Democratic Party&rsquos presidential nomination. Claiming that &ldquothe chilling shadow of the empire&rdquo was descending upon the United States, Field fronted an anti-government campaign that would make all but the most strident modern day tea partiers blush. &ldquoThe old Constitution,&rdquo Field&rsquos campaign warned in a pamphlet that traced America&rsquos original sin at least as far back as the John Adams administration, &ldquohas been buried under the liberal interpretations of Federalist-Republican Congresses and administrations, grasping doubtful powers and making each step towards centralization the sure precedent of another.&rdquo At a time when memories of Reconstruction still burned hot in the minds of Southern white supremacists, Field&rsquos campaign argued that he was &ldquothe proper candidate of the party whose life-giving principle is that of local self-government.&rdquo
Justice Field never became president, but he worked as a justice to implement the very same policies his campaign promised that he would support if elected to the White House. Field joined the Court&rsquos pro-segregation decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, and he authored another opinion permitting former Confederate officials to practice law in federal court (his presidential campaign would later tout this opinion as proof that he would appeal to Southern whites if he received the Democratic nomination).
The cause of Field&rsquos life, however, was neutering the government&rsquos power to enact economic and business regulation. In the 1870s, for example, nearly all grain grown in the Midwest was shipped through Chicago, where nine firms owned the city&rsquos grain warehouses and they colluded among themselves to charge monopolists&rsquo rates to farmers. When Illinois enacted a law forbidding this price gouging, however, Field responded with an angry dissenting opinion labeling this law &ldquoa &ldquobold assertion of absolute power by the State to control at its discretion the property and business of the citizen.&rdquo Years later, after Congress enacted a modest income tax on upper-income earners, Field complained that it was an &ldquoassault upon capital&rdquo which &ldquowill be but the stepping-stone to others, larger and more sweeping, till our political contests will become a war of the poor against the rich a war constantly growing in intensity and bitterness.&rdquo
Field&rsquos vision of the Court as the enemy of business regulation did not gain ascendance until shortly before his death in 1899, and Field would not live to see the early twentieth century decisions striking down minimum wages, protections for unions and federal child labor laws. Field did more than any other justice to lay the groundwork for these decisions, however, and many of them followed the same fabricated interpretations of the Constitution that once animated Field&rsquos dissents.
2) Chief Justice Roger Taney
Any list of terrible Supreme Court justices that does not begin with Chief Justice Roger Taney will inherently be controversial. Taney authored what is widely viewed as the worst single decision in the Supreme Court&rsquos history, the pro-slavery decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Though Taney was far more moderate on the issue of slavery as a young man &mdash he once referred to slavery as a &ldquoblot on our national character&rdquo and he emancipated his own slaves &mdash his views hardened in his old age. In 1857, the same year as Dred Scott, Taney labeled the abolitionist movement &ldquonorthern aggression.&rdquo
Taney ranks second on this list solely due to the egregiousness of Field&rsquos efforts to manipulate the Constitution. The pre-Civil War Constitution was, in the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall, &ldquodefective from the start.&rdquo It is not hard to imagine how Taney could read a Constitution that contains explicit protections for the slave trade and the owners of escaped slaves and conclude that this document was intended to protect slavery. Field, by contrast, took an amendment that was drafted to end racial apartheid and grant freed slaves all the blessings of citizenship, and he essentially rewrote it into a tool the most fortunate Americans could use to exploit others.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that Dred Scott was an abominable decision, rooted in the notion that men and women of African descent &ldquohad for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order&rdquo who are &ldquoso far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.&rdquo It swept far beyond the question presented in that case to offer a philosophic defense of white supremacy and chattel slavery. And it fully deserves its reputation as the Court&rsquos worst decision.
3) Justice James Clark McReynolds
I describe Justice James Clark McReynolds&rsquos unique blend of self-centered bigotry in Injustices:
McReynolds was, in Time magazine&rsquos words, &ldquoa savagely sarcastic, incredibly reactionary Puritan anti-Semite.&rdquo McReynolds was lazy. He often would not even open the briefs lawyers filed to prepare him to hear a case until hours before the case was argued, and he frequently spent just a few hours crafting opinions that would govern all other courts in the country. McReynolds was nasty. He labeled President Franklin Roosevelt &ldquothat crippled son-of-a-bitch . . . in the White House,&rdquo and shunned his own nephew after the boy woke him up by playing jazz music on the radio. McReynolds was a petty tyrant. He ordered his staff never to smoke tobacco even on their free time, and dictated where they were allowed to live. During his frequent duck hunting trips, Justice McReynolds would bring along his longtime servant Harry Parker, and he would order Parker to wade through ice-cold water to retrieve the fallen animals in lieu of a bird dog. Though the two men often saw eye to eye on the Constitution, [Chief Justice] Taft dismissed McReynolds as &ldquoinconsiderate of his colleagues and others, and contemptuous of everyone&rdquo after serving on the same bench with him.
And, above all, Justice McReynolds was a bigot. He refused to speak to Justice Louis Brandeis for Brandeis&rsquos first three years on the Court because Brandeis was Jewish, and he forbade contact between his staff and the Jewish Justices Brandeis and Benjamin Cardozo. There is no official photograph of the justices for 1924 because the Court&rsquos seniority-based seating chart required McReynolds to sit next to Brandeis, and McReynolds simply refused to be photographed next to his Jewish colleague. When Brandeis offered his views in conferences, McReynolds would simply stand up and leave.
On the rare occasions when a woman argued a case before McReynolds&rsquos Court, the justice would exclaim &ldquoI see the female is here&rdquo and walk out of the Courtroom. When Charles Hamilton Houston, the Harvard-educated black attorney who mentored future Justice Thurgood Marshall as Dean of the Howard Law School, argued before the Supreme Court in 1938, McReynolds turned his back on the Courtroom to signal his disapproval. McReynolds once warned one of his law clerks, who had grown close with Harry Parker, that the clerk &ldquoseem[ed] to forget that [Parker] is a negro.&rdquo He advised the clerk to &ldquothink of my wishes in this matter in your future relations with the darkies.&rdquo
McReynolds was, sadly, one of many justices who joined opinions striking down child labor laws or a minimum wage, and he was only one of the &ldquoFour Horsemen&rdquo who resisted the New Deal during President Franklin Roosevelt&rsquos first two terms in office. But no justice carried more vitriol or self-absorbed hatred to the bench than Justice McReynolds.
4) Chief Justice Melville Fuller
If it were up to Melville Fuller, Abraham Lincoln would never have been president. Born into one of Maine&rsquos most prominent Democratic families, Fuller moved to Chicago and became a top campaign surrogate for Lincoln&rsquos two-time opponent Senator Stephen Douglas. Though nominally opposed to slavery, Fuller denounced the &ldquofanatical and hot-headed course of the abolition madmen.&rdquo As a delegate to Illinois&rsquos constitutional convention in 1862, he voted to prohibit black men and women from settling in the state or casting a ballot in its elections. As a member of the state legislature, he labeled the Emancipation Proclamation &ldquounconstitutional, contrary to the rules of civilized warfare,&rdquo and &ldquocalculated to bring shame, disgrace and eternal infamy&rdquo upon the nation. He also backed a constitutional amendment preventing congressional interference with slavery.
After the Civil War, Fuller became an outspoken proponent of anti-government views similar to Justice Field&rsquos, attacking Lincoln&rsquos Republican Party for allegedly believing that &ldquogovernment should exercise the functions belonging to Divine Providence, and should regulate the profits of labor and the value of property by direct legislation.&rdquo In 1895, two years before the elderly Field left the Court, Fuller presided over a trio of major decisions, two of which he authored. The first hobbled Congress&rsquos ability to tax the wealthy. The second gave a business trust which controlled over 98 percent of the nation&rsquos sugar production constitutional immunity to federal antitrust laws. And the third gave every federal judge in the country sweeping, extra-legal powers to bust unions.
After Field&rsquos death, Chief Justice Fuller presided over the Court&rsquos infamous decision in Lochner v. New York, which struck down a New York law prohibiting bakeries from overworking their workers. Lawyers and legal historians widely view this decision as symbolic of the entire era in the early twentieth century when Field&rsquos values dominated the Supreme Court &mdash indeed, this age is commonly referred to as the Lochner Era.
5) Justice Clarence Thomas
Justice Clarence Thomas is the only current member of the Supreme Court who has explicitly embraced the reasoning of Lochner Era decisions striking down nationwide child labor laws and making similar attacks on federal power. Indeed, under the logic Thomas first laid out in a concurring opinion in United States v. Lopez, the federal minimum wage, overtime rules, anti-discrimination protections for workers, and even the national ban on whites-only lunch counters are all unconstitutional.
Though Thomas&rsquos views are rare today, they have, sadly, not been the least bit uncommon during the Supreme Court&rsquos history. He makes this list because, frankly, he should know better than his predecessors. As I explain in Injustices, many of the justices who resisted progressive legislation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were, like Field, motivated by ideology. Many others, however, were motivated by fear of the rapid changes state and federal lawmakers implemented in the wake of the even more rapid changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution. It was possible to believe, in a world where factories, railroads, and the laws required to regulate factories and railroads were all very new things, that these laws would, as Herbert Hoover once said about the New Deal, &ldquodestroy the very foundations of our American system&rdquo by extending &ldquogovernment into our economic and social life.&rdquo
But Thomas has the benefit of eighty years of American history that Hoover had not witnessed when he warned of an overreaching government. In that time, the Supreme Court largely abandoned the values embraced by Justice Field, and the United States became the mightiest nation in the history of politics and the wealthiest nation in the history of money.
Why Nine Justices?
The Constitution did not and still does not specify the number of Supreme Court justices. The Judiciary Act of 1789 set the number at six. As the nation expanded westward, Congress added justices as needed to deal with cases from the growing number of judicial circuits from seven in 1807 to nine in 1837 and to ten in 1863.
In 1866, Congress—at the request of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase—passed an act stipulating that the next three justices to retire would not be replaced, thus reducing the number of justices back to seven. By 1867, two of the three justices had retired, but in 1869, Congress passed the Circuit Judges Act setting the number of justices to nine, where it remains today. The same 1869 law created the provision under which all federal judges continue to receive their full salaries after retiring.
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a substantial and controversial enlargement of the Supreme Court. His plan would have added one new justice for every existing justice who reached the age of 70 years and 6 months and refused to retire, up to a maximum of 15 justices. Roosevelt claimed he wanted to ease the stress of the Court’s growing docket on elderly justices, but critics saw it as a way for him to load the Court with justices sympathetic to his Great Depression-busting New Deal program. Calling it Roosevelt’s “court-packing plan,” Congress rejected the proposal. Nevertheless, having been elected years before the adoption of the presidential term-limiting 22nd Amendment, Roosevelt would go on to appoint seven justices during his 12 years in office.
In 1780, Marshall studied law by attending a series of Judge George Wythe&aposs lectures at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia — the only formal legal education that Marshall would receive — and soon obtained a firm grasp on English common law. That same year, he was admitted to the Virginia bar and began his own legal practice. He built his law practice&aposs success by defending clients against British creditors who attempted to collect debts incurred during British colonial rule, prior to the American Revolution.
The Nine Greatest Supreme Court Justices
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was traveling by train to Washington, D.C., one morning nearly a century ago when a conductor asked for his ticket. Holmes searched high and low for it until the conductor reassured him, “Don’t worry about your ticket, Mr. Holmes. We all know who you are. When you get to your destination, you can find it and just mail it to us.”
“My dear man, the problem is not my ticket,” quipped Holmes, who was renowned for his quick wit. “The problem is…where am I going?”
We face a similar guessing game as a nation every time a new Supreme Court justice is chosen. The president and other officials involved in the selection process can only speculate what route a new appointee will follow during a lifetime tenure on the Court, much less what lasting impact he or she might have on interpretation of our laws. And predicting whether any justice will achieve a measure of greatness is a crapshoot.
Sonia Sotomayor is no exception. When President Barack Obama put her up for Senate confirmation this summer, he touted her “empathy” and potential for blazing a new historical trail as the first Latina justice. She has been widely compared to Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice, and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice, both of whom made history by breaking racial and gender barriers. But neither Marshall nor O’Connor are generally viewed as intellectual leaders on the Court. Marshall brought a deep sense of social justice to the Court’s deliberations, but he was not equally known for his contribution to legal theory and doctrine—at least, no more than the vast majority of his predecessors or successors. O’Connor virtually functioned as a court of one—the consistent swing vote on a Court rigidly divided in many areas by a 4-4 split—but will not be remembered for the depth or consistency of her opinions. Even though she often dictated the outcome of cases, she did so with insular and sometimes conflicting rationales.
The most notable trend in recent decades has been for presidents to put forward nominees who have empty files: impressive academic and judicial résumés combined with a sparse history of controversial speeches or writings that might be turned against them during the confirmation process. Such formulaic selections reflect the vagaries of our political system, but also our discomfort with people who are creative thinkers and can’t be easily pigeonholed as either judicial activists or strict constructionists. Even though America has the deepest pool of lawyers in the world, if genius is found on the modern Court it is largely accidental.
There is no standard profile for the selection of great justices. However, close examination of the records of the 111 justices who have served on the Court reveals that a select few managed to see a legal horizon far beyond the view of their contemporaries, often espousing views that would not reflect majoritarian values for decades. The nine justices featured on the pages that follow all exhibited an ability to rise above conventional thinking and prejudices and epitomize what constitutes the right stuff on the Supreme Court.
Three Game Changers
One of the primary measures of greatness on the Supreme Court is the impact a justice’s decisions have on the society at large. John Marshall, Charles Evan Hughes and Earl Warren all sat on the bench during transformative periods in American history and the social and political consequences of their decisions reverberated for generations.
Chief Justice 1801 to 1835
Marshall authored the most important American judicial opinion of all time: Marbury v. Madison (1803), which established the supremacy of the Court in legal judgments. He also issued a series of decisions involving the balance of power between the federal government and the states that laid the legal foundation for the young republic. “A hush falls upon us even now as we listen to his words,” Justice Benjamin Cardozo wrote more than two centuries later.
Despite such praise, Marshall has an obvious advantage. His decisions on judicial review, Indian tribes and other fundamental issues reflected the fact that these were the first defining cases. One has to recognize that anyone writing these early decisions would have had the same fundamental impact. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, a titan of the early 20th-century Court, alluded to the importance of timing when he wryly noted that much of Marshall’s “greatness consists of his being there.”
Marshall was not particularly profound or intellectual in his opinions, which often read more like commandments than interpretations on the law. He used Marbury to stake out valuable territory for the Court, a gamble that paid off despite initial protests that he was amending the Constitution through the ruling—the earliest allegation of judicial activism. Yet the decision achieved a vital balancing of the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government that assured the peaceful resolution of countless conflicts.
Marshall was interested more in the outcomes than the analytical underpinnings of his judicial opinions, but he is responsible for the institutional status and authority of the Court itself—giving him a Moses-like stature that is unrivaled by his successors.
Charles Evans Hughes
Associate Justice 1910 to 1916
Chief Justice 1930 to 1941
Like Marshall, Hughes was not renowned for his eloquence or intellect. But he used his political skills to maneuver the Court through swirling waters of social change. Hughes was the Republican governor of New York before beginning a six-year stint as an associate justice in 1910. Then, after resigning from the Court to mount an unsuccessful campaign for president and spending several years in private practice as a lawyer, he served as secretary of state under Warren Harding from 1921 to 1925. He returned to the Supreme Court five years later when Herbert Hoover appointed him chief justice.
During the Great Depression, Hughes incurred the wrath of Franklin D. Roosevelt as the leader of a Court that declared several New Deal measures unconstitutional. Most notably, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935), Hughes ruled that agreements between Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration and private industry regarding work hours, pay rates and price fixing were invalid because they delegated legislative power to the executive branch. After Roosevelt was re-elected by a landslide in 1936, he initiated judicial reorganization legislation that would have granted him the power to neutralize the Court’s opposition to his plans by adding more justices. Roosevelt’s court-packing legislation ultimately failed in Congress. But in the interim Hughes helped avoid a cataclysmic showdown between the Court and the president through quiet diplomacy and by working closely with Louis Brandeis, Harlan Fiske Stone and Benjamin Cardozo in decisions supporting New Deal legislation he believed did not threaten the foundations of constitutional law.
Chief Justice 1953 to 1969
Before joining the Supreme Court, Warren was a consummate politician: a longtime governor of California who proved so popular in his first term that he won the nominations of both the Republican and Democratic parties when he ran for re-election. In 1952 he stood as a favorite-son candidate of California for the Republican nomination for president, but withdrew in support of Dwight Eisenhower, who appointed him chief justice a year later. Eisenhower proclaimed that the Court needed a justice with conservative economic and social values much like his own. Instead, Warren took the Court boldly into the 20th century with transformative liberal rulings in areas ranging from desegregation to free speech to criminal procedure.
The Warren Court issued one landmark decision after another, and Warren wrote the majority opinion in some of the most famous cases: Brown v. Board of Education (1954) banned segregation in public schools Miranda v. Arizona (1966) required that criminal defendants be informed of their rights to remain silent and to be represented by a lawyer Loving v. Virginia (1967) struck down prohibitions on interracial marriage. Liberals generally hailed the Warren Court’s decisions while conservatives cried foul. Nevertheless, Warren was able to find grounds for unanimity among his colleagues in controversial cases like Brown and put the entire weight and credibility of the Court behind opinions that brought great social change.
Three Unyielding Contrarians
A handful of justices had a profound impact on the evolution of legal theory by bravely bucking against prevailing trends. Louis Brandeis, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. and William Brennan were independent thinkers who stayed the course even when their opinions were scorned by the majority.
Louis Brandeis, Library of Congress
Associate Justice 1916 to 1939
As the first Jew named to the Court and an unabashed advocate of social justice who had earned the nickname the “People’s Lawyer,” Brandeis faced a bitter confirmation fight. “He was dangerous not just because of his brilliance, his arithmetic, his courage,” his fellow justice William O. Douglas later wrote. “He was dangerous because he was incorruptible.” Indeed, it was Brandeis’ willingness to think beyond the status quo that made him such a prescient figure on the Court. His dissenting opinions, particularly in cases involving freedom of speech and the right to privacy, would later become the majority positions of the Court. In Olmstead v. United States (1928), he bristled at the willingness of his colleagues to endorse the government’s use of wiretap technology to gather evidence and argued passionately for an individual’s “right to be let alone.” His dissent is still one of the most quoted opinions in the Court’s history. “Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers,” he wrote. “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
Associate Justice 1956 to 1990
Brennan turned out to be a Supreme surprise after President Dwight Eisenhower named him to the Court in 1956. Brennan’s record as a justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court and public comments he had made about criminal law suggested he would follow a conservative course, but he turned out to be one of the most liberal justices in the history of the Court. He was revered by the left and reviled by the right because of his outspoken opposition to the death penalty and support for abortion rights. But his opinions on less socially contentious issues had an equal if not greater impact on the expansion of constitutional theory and doctrines. New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) established the constitutional standard for defamation of public officials. Baker v. Carr (1962) enabled federal courts to protect individual voting rights by intervening in the reapportionment of electoral districts. Malloy v. Hogan (1964) extended a defendant’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to state courts. Chief Justice Earl Warren often assigned rulings to Brennan that required a comprehensive and profound treatment, leading Court watchers to dub him the “Deputy Chief.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Associate Justice 1902 to 1932
Holmes first exhibited his fearless instincts for diving headlong into the fray during the Civil War, suffering wounds as a first lieutenant with the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry at the battles of Ball’s Bluff, Antietam and Fredericksburg. After the war, Holmes established himself as one of America’s preeminent legal theorists with his 1881 book, The Common Law, and was a Harvard law school professor before serving for two decades as a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. When President Theodore Roosevelt put his name forward as a Supreme Court justice in 1902, it was one of the rare occasions that a brilliant legal scholar has been nominated with little regard for partisan politics. Holmes proved to be an independent spirit during his 30 years on the Court, taking a contrarian position in so many decisions that he was dubbed the “Great Dissenter.” But the pithiness of both his minority and majority opinions on issues as diverse as copyright, due process and antitrust legislation resulted in him becoming one of the most widely cited Supreme Court justices ever. He is particularly well known for his articulation of the “clear and present danger” exception to the right of free speech in a unanimous ruling by the Court in Schenck v. United States (1919), in which he famously declared that First Amendment protections do not apply to an individual “falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater and causing a panic.” However, in his dissent in Abrams v. United States (1919), Holmes objected to the use of the clear-and-present-danger test to punish people solely on the content of their speech.
Three Towering Visionaries
All of the great Supreme Court justices were visionaries. But John Marshall Harlan, Hugo Black and Joseph Story possessed extraordinary insights that allowed them to transcend their times and articulate a far-reaching view of our laws.
John Marshall Harlan
Associate Justice 1877 to 1911
Harlan was born into a slaveholding family in Kentucky, and as a Union Army colonel during the Civil War swore that he would resign if President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. But he later broke with family tradition and became an outspoken critic of slavery, which he described as “the most perfect despotism that ever existed on this earth.” Harlan was the first justice to have earned a modern law degree and, after joining the Court in 1877, he supplemented his income by teaching evening classes at George Washington law school. Harlan became an eloquent defender of equal rights, and was the sole dissenter in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the infamous case in which the Court affirmed the constitutionality of racially segregated public facilities that were “separate but equal.” In his dissent in Hurtado v. California (1884), Harlan was the first justice to argue that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which extended rights of citizenship to blacks after the Civil War, also prohibited states from constructing laws that infringe on protections accorded individuals under the Bill of Rights. Likewise, in the Insular Cases (1901), Harlan insisted that residents of new U.S. territories in the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam should be entitled to the same rights as all American citizens. While serving one of the longest tenures of any justice, Harlan was frequently in the minority, but he articulated a new way of thinking about core issues of the Constitution that was decades ahead of his time.
Associate Justice 1937 to 1971
Black’s early career as a local prosecutor, police court judge and Democratic senator from Alabama was blemished by his membership in the Ku Klux Klan. “I would have joined any group if it helped get me votes,” he admitted years later. But over the course of his 34-year tenure on the Court, he articulated a highly principled view of the Constitution. Black believed in restricting the interpretation of the Constitution to its “plain meaning.” When the majority invalidated a law that prohibited the use of contraceptives in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) on the grounds that it violated an individual’s right to privacy, Black argued in his dissent that it was not “the duty of this Court to keep the Constitution in tune with the times.” That same insistence on strict textual analysis of the Constitution made him perhaps the Court’s most passionate defender of the rights of free speech and association. In his dissent in Dennis v. United States (1966), a case in which the majority upheld the conspiracy conviction of a Communist Party leader, he wrote, “Public opinion being what it now is, few will protest the conviction of these Communist petitioners. There is hope, however, that, in calmer times, when present pressures, passions and fears subside, this or some later Court will restore the First Amendment liberties to the high preferred place where they belong in a free society.” He also wrote the landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), which established that states must provide an attorney to an indigent defendant. Black defied easy categorization as either a conservative or a liberal, but he brought a profound clarity to his constitutional interpretation of cases that continue to have a dramatic impact on both law and American politics.
Joseph Story, Library of Congress
Associate Justice 1812 to 1845
Story was only 32 years old when he joined the Supreme Court and was overshadowed by John Marshall during most of his tenure on the bench, but he ultimately had a greater impact on the law, society and legal theory than any other justice in history. Even though Marshall assigned virtually all the major early Supreme Court opinions to himself, Story was the intellectual anchor who gave lasting meaning to the decisions. After declaring the outcome of one case Marshall turned to him and said, “Now, Story, that is the law you find the precedents for it.” When he was allowed to write, Story proved that he was the better of Marshall as a legal mind. In Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee (1816) he established the Court’s authority over state decisions touching on federal law. His decision in Bank of the United States v. Dandridge (1827) led to the creation of the modern corporation as a legal entity and other seminal opinions laid the foundations for admiralty law, equity law and patent law. In United States v. Amistad (1841), which was the basis of a 1997 Steven Spielberg film starring retired Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun as Story, he bolstered the abolitionist movement by ruling that the transport of a group of Africans across the Atlantic was illegal and the slaves should be freed.
Story clearly saw the law as an evolving body of doctrines that connected at deep common roots, and the influence of his thinking spread when he became the first Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University and penned his three-volume Commentaries on the Constitution (1833) while still serving on the Court. He also was one of the earliest voices calling for society to end slavery and to educate women. While the turgid style of the time makes Story’s opinions less powerful to read than some of his successors, he showed the same quiet passion of his father, Elisha, one of the organizers of the Boston Tea Party. Above all, Story adopted a more modern view of a jurist in avoiding political entanglements and public acclaim. “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens,” he wrote. “They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.”
Jonathan Turley is a George Washington University law professor who has written extensively on legal and policy issues for various national publications and appeared as a commentator on all the major networks.
The Constitution elaborated neither the exact powers and prerogatives of the Supreme Court nor the organization of the Judicial Branch as a whole. Thus, it was left to Congress and to the Justices of the Court through their decisions to develop the Federal Judiciary and a body of Federal law.
The establishment of a Federal Judiciary was a high priority for the new government, and the first bill introduced in the United States Senate became the Judiciary Act of 1789. The act divided the country into 13 judicial districts, which were, in turn, organized into three circuits: the Eastern, Middle, and Southern. The Supreme Court, the country’s highest judicial tribunal, was to sit in the Nation’s Capital, and was initially composed of a Chief Justice and five Associate Justices. For the first 101 years of the Supreme Court’s life — but for a brief period in the early 1800’s — the Justices were also required to “ride circuit,” and hold circuit court twice a year in each judicial district.
The Supreme Court first assembled on February 1, 1790, in the Merchants Exchange Building in New York City — then the Nation’s Capital. Chief Justice John Jay was, however, forced to postpone the initial meeting of the Court until the next day since, due to transportation problems, some of the Justices were not able to reach New York until February 2.
The earliest sessions of the Court were devoted to organizational proceedings. The first cases reached the Supreme Court during its second year, and the Justices handed down their first opinion on August 3, 1791 in the case of West v. Barnes.
During its first decade of existence, the Supreme Court rendered some significant decisions and established lasting precedents. However, the first Justices complained of the Court’s limited stature they were also concerned about the burdens of “riding circuit” under primitive travel conditions. Chief Justice John Jay resigned from the Court in 1795 to become Governor of New York and, despite the pleading of President John Adams, could not be persuaded to accept reappointment as Chief Justice when the post again became vacant in 1800.
Consequently, shortly before being succeeded in the White House by Thomas Jefferson, President Adams appointed John Marshall of Virginia to be the fourth Chief Justice. This appointment was to have a significant and lasting effect on the Court and the country. Chief Justice Marshall’s vigorous and able leadership in the formative years of the Court was central to the development of its prominent role in American government. Although his immediate predecessors had served only briefly, Marshall remained on the Court for 34 years and five months and several of his colleagues served for more than 20 years.
Members of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President subject to the approval of the Senate. To ensure an independent Judiciary and to protect judges from partisan pressures, the Constitution provides that judges serve during “good Behaviour,” which has generally meant life terms. To further assure their independence, the Constitution provides that judges’ salaries may not be diminished while they are in office.
The number of Justices on the Supreme Court changed six times before settling at the present total of nine in 1869. Since the formation of the Court in 1790, there have been only 17 Chief Justices and 102 Associate Justices, with Justices serving for an average of 16 years. Since five Chief Justices had previously served as Associate Justices, there have been 114 Justices in all. This included former Justice John Rutledge, who was appointed Chief Justice under an interim commission during a recess of Congress and served for only four months in 1795. When the Senate failed to confirm him, his nomination was withdrawn however, since he held the office and performed the judicial duties of Chief Justice, he is properly regarded as an incumbent of that office.
Despite this important institutional continuity, the Court has had periodic infusions of new Justices and new ideas throughout its existence on average a new Justice joins the Court almost every two years. President Washington appointed the six original Justices and before the end of his second term had appointed four other Justices. During his long tenure, President Franklin D. Roosevelt came close to this record by appointing eight Justices and elevating Justice Harlan Fiske Stone to be Chief Justice.
Associate Justices. (opinions)
James Wilson was born in Caskardy, Scotland, on September 14, 1742. He entered St. Andrews University in 1757 and emigrated to America in 1765 to take a teaching position at the College of Philadelphia. He read law with an attorney and in 1768 began a private law practice in Reading, Pennsylvania. Wilson was elected a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1775 and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He also served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. As a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, Wilson was a member of the committee that produced the first draft of the Constitution. He signed the finished document on September 17, 1787, and later served as delegate to the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention. On September 24, 1789, President George Washington nominated Wilson one of the original Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Wilson served on the Supreme Court for eight years and died on August 21, 1798, at the age of fifty-five.
18 William Cushing, Associate Justice 1790-1810. (opinions)
William Cushing was born March 1, 1732, in Scituate, Massachusetts. After graduation from Harvard College in 1751, Cushing taught school for one year in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and then read law in Boston. He was admitted to practice in 1755. In 1760, Cushing moved to Lincoln County, Massachusetts (now Dresden, Maine), to become a Probate Judge and Justice of the Peace. In 1772, he was appointed to the Superior Court of Massachusetts Bay Province. Under the new State Government, Cushing was retained as a Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court, and in 1777 he was elevated to Chief Justice. From 1780 to 1789, he served as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Cushing strongly supported ratification of the United States Constitution and served as Vice Chairman of the Massachusetts Ratification Convention. On September 24, 1789, President George Washington nominated Cushing one of the original Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Cushing served on the Supreme Court for twenty years and died on September 13, 1810, at the age of seventy-eight.
19 John Blair, Jr., Associate Justice 1790-1796.
John Blair, Jr. was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1732. He was graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1754. After one year of law study in England at the Middle Temple, London, he returned to Virginia to practice law. Blair began his public service in 1766 as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1770, he resigned from the House to become Clerk of the Governor&aposs Council. Blair was a delegate to the Virginia Convention of 1776, which drafted the State Constitution. Blair became a Judge of the Virginia General Court in 1777 and was elevated to Chief Judge in 1779. From 1780 to 1789, he served as a Judge of the First Virginia Court of Appeals. Blair was a delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787 and was one of three Virginia delegates to sign the Constitution. He was also a delegate to the Virginia Ratification Convention of 1788. On September 24, 1789, President George Washington nominated Blair one of the original Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Blair served five years on the Supreme Court. Citing the rigors of circuit riding and ill health, he resigned on January 27, 1796. Blair died on August 31, 1800, at the age of sixty-eight.
20 James Iredell, Associate Justice 1790-1799. (opinions)
James Iredell was born on October 5, 1751, in Lewes, England. He was educated in England and in 1768 became Colonial Comptroller of Customs in Edenton, North Carolina. While serving in that position, Iredell read law and was admitted to practice in 1770. In 1776, he resigned from his position with Customs and joined the independence movement. When North Carolina severed its ties with the British Crown, Iredell served on a commission to redraft the state&aposs laws. In 1778, the Superior Court of North Carolina was created and Iredell was named one of its three Judges. He resigned after a few months because of the rigors of circuit riding and resumed his law practice. He served as Attorney General of North Carolina from 1779 to 1781. Under a new state constitution, Iredell codified the laws of North Carolina. In 1788, he served as floor leader of the Federalists in North Carolina Ratification Convention. On February 8, 1790, President George Washington nominated Iredell to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Iredell served for nine years on the Supreme Court and died on October 20, 1799, at the age of forty-eight.
21 Thomas Johnson, Associate Justice 1792-1793. (opinions)
Thomas Johnson was born on November 4, 1732, in Calvert County, Maryland. He was educated at home and studied law in the office of the Clerk of the Provincial Court in Annapolis, and later with an Annapolis attorney. He was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1760. Johnson began his public career in 1762 as a delegate to the Maryland Provincial Assembly. He served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, and in 1776, he helped draft the Maryland constitution. During the Revolutionary War, Johnson served in the Maryland Militia. In 1777, he became the first Governor of the State of Maryland and served three consecutive terms. In 1788, Johnson served as a delegate to the Maryland Ratification Convention. On April 20, 1790, he was appointed Chief Judge of the General Court of Maryland, the highest common law court in the State. On November 1, 1791, President George Washington nominated Johnson to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on November 7, 1791. Citing the rigors of circuit riding, Johnson resigned from the Supreme Court on February 1, 1793. He died on October 26, 1819, at the age of eighty-six.
22 William Paterson, Associate Justice 1793-1806. (opinions)
William Paterson was born on December 24, 1745, in County Antrim, Ireland. His family emigrated to America two years later and eventually settled in Princeton, New Jersey. Paterson was graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1763 and earned a graduate degree in 1766. He read law, was admitted to the bar in 1769, and established a law practice. During the Revolutionary War, Paterson served as an officer with the Somerset County Minutemen and was a member of the Council of Safety. He was elected a delegate to the Provincial Congress of New Jersey in 1775 and to the State Constitutional Convention in 1776. After helping draft the New Jersey Constitution, he became Attorney General of that State, serving from 1776 to 1783. Paterson was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and, as a Senator in the First Federal Congress, he helped to draft the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the federal court system. He left the Senate in 1790 to become Governor and Chancellor of New Jersey. President George Washington nominated Paterson to the Supreme Court of the United States on March 4, 1793, and the Senate confirmed the appointment the same day. Paterson served for thirteen years on the Supreme Court and died on September 9, 1806, at the age of sixty.
23 Samuel Chase, Associate Justice 1796-1811. (opinions)
Samuel Chase was born in Somerset County, Maryland, on April 17, 1741. He read law in the office of an Annapolis attorney and was admitted to the bar in 1761. He practiced law at the Mayor&aposs Court in Annapolis and appeared before other courts throughout the County. In 1764, Chase was elected to the Maryland General Assembly and served there for twenty years. He served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses and signed the Declaration of Independence. Following the Revolutionary War, he served as a Judge of the Baltimore Criminal Court from 1788 to 1796 and as Chief Judge of the General Court of Maryland from 1791 to 1796. President George Washington nominated Chase to the Supreme Court of the United States on January 26, 1796, and the Senate confirmed the appointment the following day. In 1803, Chase became the only Justice of the Supreme Court in history to be impeached, but the Senate refused to convict him and the bill of impeachment was dismissed. Chase served on the Supreme Court for fifteen years and died on June 19, 1811, at the age of seventy.
24 Bushrod Washington, Associate Justice 1799-1829. (opinions)
Bushrod Washington was born on June 5, 1762, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was a nephew of the first President of the United States, George Washington. He was graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1778 and attended a course of law lectures conducted by George Wythe at the same time as did John Marshall, who later became Chief Justice of the United States. Washington enlisted in the Continental Army near the end of the Revolution and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. After the War, he resumed his law studies in the Philadelphia office of James Wilson, who preceded him on the Supreme Ct. Washington began a private law practice in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and then moved to Alexandria, Virginia. In 1787, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, and in 1788 he served as a delegate to the Virginia Convention which ratified the Constitution. In 1790, Washington moved to Richmond, Virginia, where he continued his law practice. He served as a reporter for the Court of Appeals and also instructed many law students, including Henry Clay. President John Adams nominated Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 19, 1798. The Senate confirmed the appointment the following day. Washington served on the Supreme Court for thirty years. He died on November 26, 1829, at the age of sixty-seven.
25 Alfred Moore, Associate Justice 1800-1804. (opinions)
Alfred Moore was born on May 21, 1755, in New Hanover County, North Carolina. He was sent to school in Boston and read law under the guidance of his father, a colonial judge. Moore was admitted to the bar in 1775 at the age of twenty. During the Revolutionary War, Moore served as a captain in a Continental regiment. After his father&aposs death in 1777, Moore returned home and joined the militia. In 1782, he was elected to the North Carolina State Legislature and, later that year, he was appointed Attorney General of North Carolina. In 1792, he was elected to the State Legislature for the second time. Three years later, Moore lost a bid for a seat in the United States Senate. In 1798, President Jon Adams appointed Moore to a commission to negotiate a treaty with the Cherokee Indians. He resigned the following year to become a Judge of the North Carolina Superior Court. On December 6, 1799, President John Adams nominated Moore to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 10, 1799. Moore served three years on the Supreme Court. He resigned on January 26, 1804. He died on October 15, 1810, at the age of fifty-five.
26 William Johnson, Associate Justice 1804-1834. (opinions)
William Johnson was born on December 17, 1771, in Charleston, South Carolina. During the Revolutionary War, his father was imprisoned by the British and the family was exiled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Johnson was graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1790, and studied law in a Charleston law office. Johnson was admitted to the bar in 1793, and the following year he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. He served three consecutive terms, the third term as Speaker. In 1799, the South Carolina Legislature elected Johnson to one of the three seats on the Court of Common Pleas, the highest court in the State. Johnson had served on the Court of Common Pleas for four years when, on March 22, 1804, President Thomas Jefferson nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Johnson served on the Supreme Court for thirty years. He died on August 4, 1834, at the age of sixty-two.
27 H. Brockholst Livingston, Associate Justice 1807-1823. (opinions)
H. Brockholst Livingston was born in New York, New York, on November 25, 1757. He was graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1774 and planned to study law. With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, however, Livingston joined the Continental Army. Livingston participated in the siege of Ticonderoga, served as an aide to General Benedict Arnold in the Saratoga campaign, and witnessed General John Burgoyne&aposs surrender in 1777. In 1779, he served on a diplomatic mission to Spain as private secretary to John Jay, who later became the first Chief Justice of the United States. As the War drew to a close, Livingston resumed the study of law in Albany, New York. He was to the bar in 1783 and settled in New York, New York, where he practiced law. From 1784 until his death he served as a Trustee and Treasurer of Columbia University. In 1786, Livingston was elected to the New York Assembly and served for three years. He was appointed to the New York Supreme Court in 1802 and served for five years. President Thomas Jefferson nominated Livingston to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 13, 1806, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on December 17, 1806. He served on the Supreme Court for sixteen years. Livingston died on March 18, 1823, at the age of sixty-five.
28 Thomas Todd, Associate Justice 1807-1826. (opinions)
Thomas Todd was born in King and Queen County, Virginia, on January 23, 1765. He lost both of his parents at an early age and was raised by a guardian. At the age of sixteen, Todd served in the Revolutionary War for six months and then returned home to attend Liberty Hall (now Washington and Lee University). Upon graduation in 1783, Todd became a tutor at Liberty Hall in exchange for room and board and instruction in the law. In 1784, Todd moved to Danville, Kentucky, which was then still part of Virginia. Kentucky was seeking statehood, and Todd served as the clerk at five conventions held for that purpose. He was admitted to the bar in 1788 and entered the practice of law. Todd served as secretary to the State Legislature when Kentucky was admitted to the Union in 1792, and when the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the State&aposs highest court, was created in 1789, he became its chief clerk. In 1801, Todd was appointed a Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and in 1806 he was elevated to Chief Justice. On February 28, 1807, President Thomas Jefferson nominated Todd to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 3, 1807. Todd served on the Supreme Court for eighteen years. He died on February 7, 1826, at the age of sixty-one.
29 Gabriel Duvall, Associate Justice 1811-1835.
Gabriel Duvall was born on December 6, 1752, in Prince Georges County, Maryland. He studied classics and law and was admitted to the bar in 1778. During the Revolutionary War, Duvall served as mustermaster and commissary of stores for the Maryland troops and later as a private in the Maryland militia. He served as Clerk of the Maryland State Convention from 1775 to 1777, and after the Maryland State Government was created in 1777, he served as clerk for the House of Delegates. Duvall was elected to the Maryland State Council in 1782 and to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1787. He served until 1794, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Duvall was re-elected but resigned on March 28, 1796, to become Chief Justice of the General Court of Maryland. President Thomas Jefferson appointed Duvall the first Comptroller of the Treasury on December 15, 1802, and he served nine years in that position. On November 15, 1811, President James Madison nominated Duvall to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment three days later. Duvall served on the Supreme Court for twenty-three years and resigned on January 14, 1835. He died on March 6, 1844, at the age of ninety-one.
30 Joseph Story, Associate Justice 1812-1845. (opinions)
Joseph Story was born on September 18, 1779, in Marblehead, Massachusetts. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1798. Story read law in the offices of two Marblehead attorneys and was admitted to the bar in 1801. He established a law practice in Salem, Massachusetts. In 1805, Story served one term in the Massachusetts Legislature, and in 1808 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. After one term, he returned to the Massachusetts Lower House, and in 1811 he was elected Speaker. On November 15, 1811, President James Madison nominated Story to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on November 18, 1811. At the age of thirty-two, Story was the youngest person ever appointed to the Supreme Court. While on the Supreme Court, Story served as delegate to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1820 and was a Professor of Law at Harvard, where he wrote a series of nine commentaries on the law, each of which was published in several editions. Story served on the Supreme Court for thirty-three years. He died on September 10, 1845, at the age of sixty-five.
31 Smith Thompson, Associate Justice 1823-1843. (opinions)
Smith Thompson was born about January 17, 1768, in Dutchess County, New York. He was graduated from Princeton University in 1788 and taught school and read law with an attorney in Poughkeepsie. In 1793, he joined a Poughkeepsie law firm. In 1800, Thompson was elected to the New York State Legislature, and one year later he served as a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention. In 1802, Thompson was appointed State District Attorney for the Middle District of New York, but before assuming his duties he was appointed to the New York Supreme Ct. He served there as an Associate Justice for twelve years and was named Chief Justice in 1814. Thompson resigned from the New York Supreme Court in 1818 to accept an appointment as Secretary of the Navy from President James Monroe. He served in the cabinet until 1823 when, on December 8, President Monroe nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States. Thompson gave up plans to run for President in 1824 and accepted the Supreme Court appointment. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 19, 1823. Thompson served on the Supreme Court for twenty years. In 1828, while still on the Court, he made an unsuccessful run for Governor of New York. Thompson died on December 18, 1843, at the age of seventy-five.
32 Robert Trimble, Associate Justice 1826-1828. (opinions)
Robert Trimble was born in Augusta County, Virginia (now West Virginia), on November 17, 1776, and grew up in Kentucky. Trimble attended what is now Transylvania University and read law under two attorneys. He was admitted to the bar in 1803 and established a law practice in Paris, Kentucky. Trimble was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1802 and served one term. In 1807, he was appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He resigned the following year and returned to his law practice. Trimble served as United States District Attorney from 1813 to 1817 but declined several other public offices, including the Chief Justiceship of Kentucky in 1810. President James Madison appointed Trimble to the District Court of Kentucky in 1817, and he served eight years in that position. President John Quincy Adams nominated Trimble to the Supreme Court of the United States on April 11, 1826. The Senate confirmed the appointment on May 9, 1826. Trimble served on the Supreme Court for two years and died on August 25, 1828, at the age of fifty-one.
33 John McLean, Associate Justice 1830-1861. (opinions)
John McLean was born in Morris County, New Jersey, on March 11, 1785. His family soon moved to western Virginia, then to Kentucky, and settled in Warren County, Ohio, in 1797. McLean began his legal career in Cincinnati in 1804 by working in the office of the clerk of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas and reading law in the office of a Cincinnati attorney. He was admitted to the bar in 1807 and moved to Lebanon, Ohio, where he combined a law practice with publication of a weekly newspaper. Beginning in 1810, he devoted himself fully to his law practice. McLean was appointed an examiner in the Federal Land Office in Cincinnati in 1811. In 1812, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Re-elected two years later, he resigned in 1816 to take a seat on the Ohio Supreme Ct. In 1822, President James Monroe appointed McLean Commissioner of the General Land Office in Washington, D.C., and one year later McLean was appointed Postmaster General. President Andrew Jackson nominated McLean to the Supreme Court of the United States on March 6, 1829. The Senate confirmed the appointment the following day. McLean served on the Supreme Court for nearly thirty-two years. He died on April 4, 1861, at the age of seventy-six.
34 Henry Baldwin, Associate Justice 1830-1844. (opinions)
Henry Baldwin was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on January 14, 1780. He attended Yale College and was graduated in 1797. He moved immediately to Philadelphia, where he read law in a law office and was soon admitted to the Pennsylvania bar. He moved to Pittsburgh, where he established a law practice with two partners. Baldwin also became joint owner of a newspaper and other business enterprises. He served on the City&aposs Public Safety Council during the War of 1812. In 1816, Baldwin was elected to the Unites States House of Representatives. He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Domestic Manufactures and was twice re-elected but was forced to resign because of ill health in 1822. Baldwin recovered and resumed his law practice and business interests in 1824, along with his civic activities and his role as an unofficial political leader of Allegheny County. On January 4, 1830, President Andrew Jackson nominated Baldwin to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Baldwin served on the Supreme Court for fourteen years. He died on April 21, 1844, at the age of sixty-four.
35 James M. Wayne, Associate Justice 1835-1867. (opinions)
James M. Wayne was born in Savannah, Georgia, around 1790. He was graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1808 and read law under three different lawyers in Savannah, Georgia, and New Haven, Connecticut. Wayne was admitted to the bar in 1811 and entered a law partnership in Savannah. During the War of 1812, Wayne served with a volunteer Georgia militia unit. He was elected to the Georgia State Legislature in 1815 and became Mayor of Savannah in 1817. In 1820, Wayne was elected to the Savannah Court of Common Pleas, and he was appointed to the Superior Court of Georgia two years later. Wayne left the Court in 1828 and ran successfully for election to the United States House of Representatives. He was re-elected twice and became Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Relations. President Andrew Jackson nominated Wayne to the Supreme Court of the United States on January 7, 1835, and the Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Wayne served on the Supreme Court for thirty-two years. He died on July 5, 1867, at the age of seventy-seven.
36 Philip P. Barbour, Associate Justice 1836-1841. (opinions)
Philip P. Barbour was born in Orange County, Virginia, on May 25, 1783. He attended local public schools and, at the age of seventeen, began reading law. He moved to Kentucky to practice but soon returned to Virginia where he attended one session of the College of William and Mary in 1801. He was admitted to the Virginia bar and established a law practice the following year. Barbour was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1812. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1814 and was re-elected to four additional terms. He served as Speaker of the House from 1821 to 1823. Barbour did not seek re-election to the House in 1824 but accepted an appointment as a Judge on the General Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He was chosen President of the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1829. Barbour was elected for the sixth time to Congress in 1827. At the end of the term in 1830, he accepted an appointment from President Andrew Jackson to the United States District Court in Virginia. Five years later, on February 28, 1835, President Jackson nominated Barbour to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 15, 1836. He served on the Supreme Court for four years and died on February 25, 1841, at the age of fifty-seven.
37 John Catron, Associate Justice 1837-1865. (opinions)
John Catron was born of German ancestry in Pennsylvania in approximately 1786, but little is known about his early years. They appear to have been spent in Virginia and Kentucky. There is no record of his schooling. In 1812, Catron moved to the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee and served under General Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. He was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1815, and in 1818 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he established a practice specializing in land law. In 1824, he was elected to the Supreme Court of Errors and Appeals. In 1831, the Legislature created the office of Chief Justice of the Court and Catron was elected to the position. Under a further reorganization in 1834, the position of Chief Justice was abolished. Catron returned to private practice and became active in national politics. When Congress expanded the Supreme Court of the United States from seven to nine members, President Andrew Jackson nominated Catron to one of the new seats on March 3, 1837. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 8, 1837. Catron served on the Supreme Court for twenty-eight years. He died on May 30, 1865, at the age of seventy-nine.
38 John McKinley, Associate Justice 1838-1852. (opinions)
John McKinley was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, on May 1, 1780, but at an early age moved with his family to Kentucky. He studied law on his own and was admitted to the bar in 1800. McKinley practiced law for a time in Frankfort, the state capital, and Louisville, the commercial center. McKinley then moved to Alabama and settled in Huntsville, where he became active in politics. McKinley was elected to the Alabama State Legislature in 1820, 1831, and 1836. In 1826, the Legislature elected him to the United States Senate, where he served until 1831. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1833 and served one term. In 1837, Congress expanded the Supreme Court from seven to nine members. In that same year, the Alabama Legislature re-elected McKinley to the Unites Sates Senate. However, McKinley accepted an appointment to one of the two new Supreme Court seats from President Martin Van Buren on September 18, 1837. The Senate confirmed the appointment on September 25, 1837. McKinley served on the Supreme Court for fourteen years. He died on July 19, 1852, at the age of seventy-two.
39 Peter V. Daniel, Associate Justice 1842-1860. (opinions)
Peter V. Daniel was born in Stafford County, Virginia, on April 24, 1784. He was educated by tutors and attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) for one year from 1802 to 1803. Daniel then returned to Virginia and read law in Richmond under Edmund Randolph, who had been Secretary of State and Attorney General under President George Washington. Daniel was admitted to the bar in 1808 and established a law practice. The following year, he was elected to the Virginia State Legislature. In 1812, he became a member of the Virginia Privy Council, an executive advisory and review body. In 1818, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, retaining his Council seat. He occupied both of these positions for the next seventeen years. President Andrew Jackson appointed Daniel to the United States District Court for Eastern Virginia in 1836. President Martin Van Buren nominated Daniel to the Supreme Court of the United States on February 26, 1841. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 2, 1841. Daniel served on the Supreme Court for eighteen years. He died on May 31, 1860, at the age of seventy-six.
40 Samuel Nelson, Associate Justice 1845-1872. (opinions)
Samuel Nelson was born in Hebron, New York, on November 10, 1792. He was graduated from Middlebury College in 1813 and read law in a law firm in Salem, New York. Nelson was admitted to the bar in 1817 and established a practice in Cortland, New York. Nelson served as Postmaster of Cortland from 1820 to 1823 and as a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention in 1821. In 1823, Nelson was appointed to the Sixth Circuit of New York. He served on the New York Supreme Court from 1831 to 1845, eight years as Chief Justice of that Court. President John Tyler nominated Nelson to the Supreme Court of the United States on February 4, 1845. The Senate confirmed the appointment ten days later. In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Nelson to a Commission established to settle United States claims against Great Britain, arising out of the latter&aposs assistance to the Confederacy during the Civil War. The proceedings resulted in an award of $15.5 million in compensation to the United States. On November 28, 1872, Nelson retired from the Supreme Court after twenty-seven years of service. He died on December 13, 1873, at the age of eighty-one.
41 Levi Woodbury, Associate Justice 1845-1851. (opinions)
Levi Woodbury was born on December 22, 1789, in Francestown, New Hampshire. He was graduated from Dartmouth College in 1809, read law, and attended Tapping Reeve Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1812 and practiced law in Francestown and nearby Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In 1816, Woodbury was appointed Clerk of the State Senate, and after one year he was placed on the New Hampshire Superior Court, where he served until 1823, when he was elected Governor of New Hampshire. In 1825, Woodbury was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives and became Speaker. Later the same year the State Legislature elected him to the United States Senate, where he served until 1831. President Andrew Jackson appointed Woodbury Secretary of the Navy in 1831. Three years later, the President appointed him Secretary of the Treasury, in which he served until 1841when he was again elected to the United States Senate. President James K. Polk nominated Woodbury to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 23, 1845. The Senate confirmed the appointment on January 3, 1846, making him the first Associate Justice to have attended a law school. Woodbury served on the Supreme Court for five years and died on September 4, 1851, at the age of sixty-one.
42 Robert C. Grier, Associate Justice 1846-1870. (opinions)
Robert C. Grier was born March 5, 1794, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He was tutored by his father until age seventeen, when he enrolled in Dickinson College. Grier was graduated in 1812 at the age of eighteen and remained at Dickinson College for one year as an instructor. Grier continued his teaching career at a small school headed by his father in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, where he taught subjects ranging from mathematics to Greek and in 1815 succeeded his father as principal of Northumberland Academy. While teaching, Grier read law and passed the bar in 1817. He began a practice immediately in Bloomberg, Pennsylvania, and later practiced law for fifteen years in Danville, Pennsylvania. On May 4, 1833, Grier was appointed to the newly created State District Court of Allegheny County and served there for thirteen years. On August 3, 1846, President James K. Polk nominated Grier to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on August 4, 1846. Grier served twenty-three years on the Supreme Court. He discontinued circuit riding in 1862 and retired on January 31, 1870. He died less than one year later, on September 25, 1870, at the age of seventy-six.
43 Benjamin R. Curtis, Associate Justice 1851-1857. (opinions)
Benjamin R. Curtis was born on November 4, 1809, in Watertown, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard College, graduating in 1829, and entered Harvard Law School. Curtis established a law practice in Northfield, Massachusetts, in 1831 and received his law degree in 1832. In 1834, he moved to Boston and joined a law firm. He was elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature in 1849, where he was appointed chairman of a committee charged with the reform of state judicial procedures. Two years later, Curtis presented the Massachusetts Practice Act of 1851. It was considered a model of judicial reform and was approved by the legislature without amendment. President Millard Fillmore nominated Curtis to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 11, 1851, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on December 29, 1851. Curtis resigned from the Supreme Court on September 30, 1857, after almost six years of service, and returned to his law practice in Boston. During the following fifteen years, he argued cases before the Supreme Court on a number of occasions. He died on September 15, 1874, at the age of sixty-four.
44 John A. Campbell, Associate Justice 1853-1861. (opinions)
John A. Campbell was born near Washington, Georgia, on June 24, 1811. He was graduated from the University of Georgia in 1825 at the age of fourteen. He attended West Point Military Academy for three years but withdrew following the death of his father. After reading law for one year, Campbell was admitted to the Georgia bar. He moved to Alabama and established a law practice in Montgomery. In 1837 he moved to Mobile and was elected to the Alabama State Legislature. He was re-elected in 1843. President Franklin Pierce nominated Campbell to the Supreme Court of the United States on March 21, 1853, and the Senate confirmed the appointment four days later. When the South seceded from the Union, Campbell represented the southern states in an unsuccessful effort to mediate the impending conflict with the Lincoln Administration. Campbell resigned from the Court on April 30, 1861. From 1862 to 1865, he served in the Confederacy as Assistant Secretary of War for conscription. When the War ended, Campbell was imprisoned by the Union Army for several months. He was released by order of President Andrew Johnson and moved to New Orleans, where he re-established a law practice. Campbell returned to the Supreme Court on several occasions to argue cases and died on March 12, 1889, at the age of seventy-seven.
45 Nathan Clifford, Associate Justice, 1858-1881. (opinions)
Nathan Clifford was born on August 18, 1803, in Rumney, New Hampshire. After reading law in the office of a local attorney, he was admitted to the bar in 1827 and moved to Newfield, Maine, to establish a law practice. Clifford was elected to the lower house of the Maine legislature in 1830 for a one-year term and was re-elected three times , serving as its Speaker during the last two terms. He was then elected Attorney General of Maine by the State Legislature and served in that position from 1834 to 1838. In 1838, Clifford was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served two terms. Defeated in a bid for a third term, he returned to private law practice in 1843. President James K. Polk appointed Clifford Attorney General of the United States in 1846. Two years later, President Polk appointed Clifford United States Minister to Mexico. Clifford returned to Maine in 1849 and resumed his law practice in the City of Portland. Six years later, on December 9, 1857, President James Buchanan nominated Clifford to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on January 12, 1858. Clifford served on the Supreme Court for twenty-three years. He died on July 25, 1881, at the age of seventy-seven.
46 Noah H. Swayne, Associate Justice 1862-1881. (opinions)
Noah H. Swayne was born in Frederick County, Virginia, on December 7, 1804. At an early age he studied medicine under a physician in Alexandria, Virginia, but he eventually abandoned medicine to read law with an attorney in Warrenton, Virginia. He was admitted to the bar in 1823. Because of his opposition to slavery, in 1824 Swayne moved to the free state of Ohio. The following year he established a practice in Coshocton and was soon elected Prosecuting Attorney of Coshocton County. In 1829, he was elected to the State Legislature. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson appointed Swayne United States Attorney for Ohio. He moved to Columbus to discharge his new duties and retained the position under President Martin Van Buren until 1841. Swayne was elected to the Columbus City Council in 1834, and in 1836 served another term in the State Legislature as a representative of Franklin County. On January 21, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Swayne to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on January 24, 1862. Swayne retired from the Supreme Court on January 25, 1881 after serving for eighteen years. He died on June 8, 1884, at the age of seventy-nine.
47 Samuel F. Miller, Associate Justice 1862-1890. (opinions)
Samuel F. Miller was born in Richmond, Kentucky, on April 5, 1816. He studied medicine at Transylvania University and received a degree in 1838. He became a physician and practiced for twelve years in Knox County. Miller developed an interest in legal and political matters and became a Justice of the Peace and member of the Knox County Court, an administrative body, in the 1840s. Miller shared an office with an attorney and began reading law. He was admitted to the bar in 1847 and established a law practice. Miller was opposed to slavery. When the Kentucky Constitutional Convention of 1849 proved inflexible on the question of eventual modification and abolition of slavery, Miller chose to move to a free state. He freed his slaves and settled in Keokuk, Iowa, where he joined a law firm and specialized in land-title, steamboat, and commercial law. Miller also became active politically and campaigned unsuccessfully for nomination as Governor in 1861. On July 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Miller to the Supreme Court of the United States as the first Justice from west of the Mississippi River. The Senate confirmed the appointment the same day. Miller served on the Supreme Court for twenty-eight years. He died on October 13, 1890, at the age of seventy-four.
48 David Davis, Associate Justice 1862-1877. (opinions)
David Davis was born in Cecil County, Maryland, on March 9, 1815. After graduation from Kenyon College in 1832, he moved to Massachusetts where he read law with a local judge. He then enrolled in Yale Law School and was graduated in 1835. Davis moved to Pekin, Illinois, to establish a practice, and one year later moved to Bloomington. He was elected to the State Legislature in 1845 and to the Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1847. In the Convention, Davis championed a popularly elected state judiciary to replace the existing system of election by the legislature. His views prevailed, and in 1848 he was elected a Circuit Court Judge. Re-elected twice, he served until 1862. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were among the lawyers who tried cases in his court. On December 1, 1862, President Lincoln nominated Davis to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment one week later. Davis had served fourteen years on the Court when he was elected to the United States Senate by the Illinois State Legislature. He resigned from the Supreme Court and served one term in the Senate, retiring in 1883. Davis died three years later, on June 26, 1886, at the age of seventy-one.
49 Stephen J. Field, Associate Justice 1863-1897. (opinions)
Stephen J. Field was born on November 4, 1816, in Haddam, Connecticut. He was graduated in 1837 from Williams College, and for the next four years read law with his brother&aposs law firm. He was admitted to the bar in 1841 and practiced law with his brother for seven years. In 1849, after a trip to Europe, Field settled in Marysville, California. In 1850, he became the chief local administrative officer of Marysville. When California was admitted to the Union that same year, Field was elected to the State Legislature. There he drafted the criminal and civil codes for the new State. After he was defeated in a bid for the State Senate in 1851, Field resumed the private practice of law. In 1857, he was elected to the California Supreme Court, where he served for six years. On March 6, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Field to a newly created seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment four days later. Field retired from the Supreme Court on December 1, 1897, after thirty-four years of service. He died on April 9, 1899, at the age of eighty-two.
50 William Strong, Associate Justice 1870-1880. (opinions)
William Strong was born in Somers, Connecticut, on May 6, 1808. He was graduated from Yale College in 1828 and taught school in Connecticut and New Jersey for four years. Strong also obtained a graduate degree from Yale in 1831 and attended its Law School briefly in 1832. He moved to Reading, Pennsylvania, where he was admitted to the bar in 1832 and established a law practice. Strong was elected to the Reading City Council. In 1846, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives he was re-elected two years later. In 1857, Strong was elected to a fifteen-year term on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where he served for eleven years. He resigned in 1868 to resume his law practice. On February 7, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant nominated Strong to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on February 18, 1870. While on the Court, he was appointed a member of the electoral commission which decided the disputed Presidential election of 1876 in favor of Rutherford B. Hayes. Strong served on the Supreme Court for ten years. He retired on December 14, 1880, and died on August 19, 1895, at the age of eighty-seven.
51 Joseph P. Bradley, Associate Justice 1870-1892. (opinions)
Joseph P. Bradley was born in Berne, New York, on March 14, 1813. He attended a country school and began teaching at the age of sixteen. He attended Rutgers University several years later and was graduated in 1836. Bradley studied law in the Office of the Collector of the Port of Newark, New Jersey, and was admitted to the bar in 1839. For thirty years, he specialized in the practice of patent, commercial, and railroad law. In 1862, after lobbying in Washington for a compromise settlement of the Civil War, Bradley a Unionist candidate for the United States House of Representatives but did not win election. President Ulysses S. Grant nominated Bradley to the Supreme Court of the United States on February 7, 1870. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 21, 1870. In 1877, Bradley served on the electoral commission created to decide the outcome of the disputed 1876 presidential election. The commission was divided seven to seven on partisan lines. Bradley voted with the Republicans on all issues, making Rutherford B. Hayes President by a margin of one electoral vote. Bradley served on the Supreme Court for twenty-one years. He died on January 22, 1892, at the age of seventy-eight.
52 Ward Hunt, Associate Justice 1873-1882. (opinions)
Ward Hunt was born in Utica, New York, on June 14, 1810. He was graduated from Union College in 1828 and studied law at a private academy in Litchfield, Connecticut. He continued his law studies as a clerk in the office of a Utica judge. Hunt was admitted to the bar in 1831 and established a law partnership in Utica, where he practiced for thirty-one years. In 1839, Hunt served one term in the New York Assembly, and in 1844 he was elected Mayor of Utica. In 1853, Hunt ran for a seat on the New York Supreme Court but lost the election. He was elected a judge of the New York Court of Appeals in 1865, the State&aposs highest court, and in 1868 he became Chief Judge. The following year, the New York court system was reorganized, and Hunt became a Commissioner of Appeals, a position he held for three years. President Ulysses S. Grant nominated Hunt to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 3, 1872. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 11, 1872. Hunt served on the Supreme Court for nine years and retired from the Court in 1882. He died on March 24, 1886, at the age of seventy-five.
53 John Marshall Harlan, Associate Justice 1877-1911. (opinions)
John Marshall Harlan was born in Boyle County, Kentucky, on June 1, 1833. He was graduated from Centre College in 1850 at the age of seventeen. Harlan studied law at Transylvania University for two years and read law in his father&aposs law office. In 1853, he was admitted to the bar and began to practice law. In 1858, Harlan served for one year as Franklin County Judge. He ran for the United States House of Representatives in 1859 but was narrowly defeated. During the Civil War, Harlan joined the Union Army and served as an officer. In 1863, Harlan resigned his commission and was elected Attorney General of Kentucky, serving for four years. He was the Republican candidate for Governor of Kentucky in 1875. President Rutherford B. Hayes nominated Harlan to the Supreme Court of the United States on October 17, 1877. The Senate confirmed the appointment on November 29, 1877. While on the Court, Harlan was appointed by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892 to represent the United States in the arbitration with Great Britain over fishing rights in the Bering Sea. Harlan served on the Supreme Court for thirty-four years, a tenure exceeded by only four other Justices. He died on October 14, 1911, at the age of seventy-eight.
54 William B. Woods, Associate Justice 1881-1887. (opinions)
William B. Woods was born on August 3, 1824, in Newark, Ohio. He attended Western Reserve College for three years and then transferred to Yale College, where he received an undergraduate degree in 1845. Woods returned to Newark and read law with a local attorney. He was admitted to the bar in 1847, and he established a law practice with his former mentor. In 1856, he was elected Mayor of Newark. Two years later he was elected to the Ohio State House of Representatives and became Speaker. Woods joined the Union Army in 1862. He served at Shiloh and Vicksburg and with General William Sherman. He was mustered out of service in 1866 with the rank of Major General. He remained in the South and established a law practice in Bentonville, Alabama. Woods was elected Chancellor of the Middle Chancery Division of Alabama in 1868. President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Woods to the Circuit Court for the Fifth Circuit in 1869. President Rutherford B. Hayes nominated Woods to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 15, 1880. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 21, 1880, making him the first Associate Justice appointed from a Confederate State after the Civil War. He served six years on the Supreme Court and died on May 14, 1887, at the age of sixty-two.
55 Stanley Matthews, Associate Justice 1881-1889. (opinions)
Stanley Matthews was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 21, 1824. After graduation from Kenyon College in 1840, he read law in Cincinnati. He moved to Maury County, Tennessee, and was admitted to the bar at the age of eighteen. Two years later, Matthews returned to Cincinnati, where he was appointed Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Hamilton County. From 1851 to 1853, he served as a Judge of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. Matthews was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1855, and in 1858 he was appointed United States Attorney for Southern Ohio. Matthews served as a volunteer in the Union Army during the Civil War but resigned his commission in 1863 when he was elected a Judge of the Superior Court of Cincinnati. Two years later, he returned to private practice. In 1877, he served as Counsel to the Hayes-Tilden Electoral Commission, and later that year, he was appointed United States Senator from Ohio to fill a vacancy. President Rutherford B. Hayes nominated Matthews to the Supreme Court of the United States on January 26, 1881, but the Senate took no action on his confirmation. Renominated by President James A. Garfield on March 14, 1881, Matthews was confirmed by the Senate on May 12, 1881. Matthews died on March 22, 1889, at the age of sixty-four.
56 Horace Gray, Associate Justice 1882-1902. (opinions)
Horace Gray was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 24, 1828. He enrolled in Harvard College at the age of thirteen and was graduated four years later. After traveling abroad, he received his law degree at Harvard in 1849. Gray was admitted to the bar in 1851 and practiced law for the next thirteen years. In 1854, he began his judicial career as a reporter for the State Supreme Court. During his tenure, Gray edited sixteen volumes of court records which, with some independent legal writing, earned him a reputation for historical scholarship and legal research. While working as a court reporter, Gray also served as a counselor to the Governor of Massachusetts on legal and constitutional questions and, in particular, issues arising from the Civil War. Gray was appointed to the State Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in 1864, the youngest appointee in the history of the Court. He was elevated to Chief Justice nine years later. President Chester A. Arthur nominated Gray to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 19, 1881, and the Senate confirmed the appointment the following day. Gray served on the Supreme Court for twenty years. He submitted his resignation on July 9, 1902, to become effective on the appointment of his successor. Gray died on September 15, 1902, at the age of seventy-four.
57 Samuel Blatchford, Associate Justice 1882-1893. (opinions)
Samuel Blatchford was born on March 9, 1820, in New York, New York. At the age of thirteen, he enrolled in Columbia College and was graduated four years later. While serving as private secretary to the Governor of New York from 1837 to 1841, Blatchford studied law. After being admitted to the bar in 1842, he practiced with his father&aposs New York law firm for three years, and then joined a firm in Auburn, New York. Blatchford compiled a twenty-four volume set of previously uncollected decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Although he was offered a judgeship on New York&aposs highest court, he chose to continue his law practice. Blatchford accepted his first judicial appointment on May 3, 1867, to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. Five years later he was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On March 13, 1882, President Chester A. Arthur nominated Blatchford to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two weeks later. Blatchford served on the Supreme Court for eleven years. He died on July 7, 1893, at the age of seventy-three.
58 Lucius Q.C. Lamar, Associate Justice 1888-1893. (opinions)
Lucius Q.C. Lamar was born in Eatontan, Georgia, on September 17, 1825. He was graduated from Emory College in 1845 and read law in Macon, Georgia. After his admission to the bar in 1847, he moved to Oxford, Mississippi, to practice law. In 1852, Lamar returned to Georgia, established a law practice in Covington, and the next year won election to the Georgia Legislature. He returned to Mississippi in 1855, and in 1857 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Lamar resigned from Congress on the eve of the Civil War and served for two years as an officer in the Confederate Army. For the last two years of the War, Lamar served as a Judge Advocate for the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee. At the end of the War, Lamar returned to Mississippi to practice law. He received a pardon for his services to the Confederacy, and in 1872 he was re-elected to the United States House of Representatives. In 1877, he was elected to the United States Senate. Lamar resigned from the Senate during his second term to accept an appointment as Secretary of the Interior. President Cleveland nominated Lamar to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 6, 1887. The Senate confirmed the appointment on January 16, 1888. Lamar served five years on the Supreme Court and died on January 23, 1893, at the age of sixty-seven.
59 David J. Brewer, Associate Justice 1890-1910. (opinions)
David J. Brewer was born in Smyrna, Asia Minor, in what is now Izmir, Turkey, on June 20, 1837. His missionary family returned to the United States one year after Brewer&aposs birth and settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Brewer attended Wesleyan University for two years and then transferred to Yale, where he was graduated in 1856. After reading law for one year, Brewer attended Albany Law School and was graduated in 1858. He then moved to Kansas, where he was admitted to the bar and established a law practice. In 1861, Brewer was appointed Commissioner of the Circuit Court in Leavenworth. Two years later, he was elected a Judge of the Probate and Criminal Courts of Leavenworth County. From 1865 to 1869, he served on the United States District Court for Kansas. Brewer was elected to the Kansas Supreme Court in 1870 and served for fourteen years. In 1884, President Chester A. Arthur appointed Brewer to the Circuit Court for the Eighth Circuit. Five years later, on December 4, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison nominated Brewer to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 18, 1889. Brewer served on the Supreme Court for twenty years. He died on March 28, 1910, at the age of seventy-two.
60 Henry B. Brown, Associate Justice 1891-1906. (opinions)
Henry B. Brown was born in South Lee, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1836. After graduation from Yale College in 1856, he studied abroad for one year. Upon his return to New England, Brown began reading law in Ellington, Connecticut, and then pursued further studies at the law schools of Yale and Harvard. In 1859, at the age of twenty-three, Brown moved to Detroit, Michigan, and was admitted to the bar. He then established a law practice and developed a specialty in maritime law. In the first year of his practice, Brown was appointed a Deputy United States Marshal for Detroit. Three years later, he was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. Brown also held an interim appointment as Circuit Judge for Wayne County in 1868. In 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Brown to the United States District Court for Eastern Michigan, where he served for fourteen years. President Benjamin Harrison nominated Brown to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 23, 1890, and the Senate confirmed the appointment six days later. Brown retired from the Supreme Court on May 28, 1906, and died on September 4, 1913, at the age of seventy-seven.
61 George Shiras, Jr., Associate Justice 1892-1903. (opinions)
George Shiras, Jr., was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 26, 1832. He began his college education at Ohio University, and after two years transferred to Yale, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1853. Shiras enrolled in Yale Law School but soon left New Haven to read law in Pittsburgh. Shiras was admitted to the bar in 1855 and entered practice with his brother in Dubuque, Iowa. He returned to Pittsburgh three years later and joined the law firm, where he specialized in railroad and corporate law. Shiras practiced law for thirty-seven years. In 1881, he refused an offer of election to the United States Senate from the Pennsylvania State Legislature. He served as a Presidential elector in 1888. President Benjamin Harrison nominated Shiras to the Supreme Court of the Untied States on July 19, 1892. The Senate confirmed the appointment on July 26, 1892. Upon receiving the nomination, Shiras declared his intention to retire after ten years on the Supreme Court, and he did so on February 23, 1903. He died on August 2, 1924, at the age of ninety-two.
62 Howell E. Jackson, Associate Justice 1893-1895. (opinions)
Howell E. Jackson was born on April 8, 1832, in Paris, Tennessee. He was graduated from West Tennessee College in 1849, and studied law at the University of Virginia from 1851 to 1852 and at Cumberland College in 1856. He was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in his hometown of Paris. In 1859, he moved to Memphis and established a law practice. Although opposed to secession, Jackson served the Confederacy during the Civil War as the receiver of stolen property. In 1875, he was appointed to the Court of Arbitration for Western Tennessee, a provisional court established to liquidate the backlog of cases created by the War. In 1880, Jackson was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives and in 1881 to the United States Senate. He resigned his Senate seat before the end of his term to accept an appointment as a Federal Judge on the Sixth Circuit in 1886. In 1891, he became a judge of the newly established United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. On February 2, 1893, President Benjamin Harrison nominated Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on February 18, 1893. Jackson contracted tuberculosis in 1894 but he continued to serve on the Supreme Court until his death on August 8, 1895, at the age of sixty-three.
63 Rufus W. Peckham, Associate Justice 1896-1909. (opinions)
Rufus W. Peckham was born on November 8, 1838, in Albany, New York. He was educated at the Albany Boys&apos Academy and studied privately in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After one year in Europe, Peckham returned to Albany and read law in his father&aposs office and was admitted to the bar in 1859. Peckham was elected Albany County Attorney in 1869. In 1881, he was named Corporate Counsel to the City of Albany and served two years. In this position, he successfully prosecuted a number of criminal cases in railroad-express car robberies. In 1882, he ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the New York Court of Appeals, the State&aposs highest tribunal. In 1883, he was elected to the New York Supreme Court, and three years later he was elected to the Court of Appeals. During these years, Peckham was politically active. He was instrumental in preventing the New York City Democratic organization from gaining control of the State Democratic Party. Peckham had served on the New York Court of Appeals for nine years when, on December 3, 1895, President Grover Cleveland nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 9, 1895. Peckham served on the Supreme Court for thirteen years and died on October 24, 1909, at the age of seventy.
64 Joseph McKenna, Associate Justice 1898-1925. (opinions)
Joseph McKenna was born on August 10, 1843, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the mid-1850s, the McKenna family moved to northern California, where McKenna studied law at the Benicia Collegiate Institute. He was graduated in 1865 and admitted to the California bar in 1866. Six months later, McKenna was elected District Attorney for Solano County and served two terms. He practiced law and became increasingly active in politics. In 1875, McKenna was elected to the California House of Representatives and retired after one term and an unsuccessful bid for Speaker of the House. After two unsuccessful attempts, McKenna finally won election to the United States House of Representatives in 1885. He was re-elected three times. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison appointed McKenna to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. McKenna served in that position until he was appointed Attorney General of the United States by President William McKinley in 1897. On December 16, 1897, President McKinley nominated McKenna to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on January 21, 1898. McKenna served on the Supreme Court for twenty-six years and retired on January 5, 1925. He died on November 21, 1926, at the age of eighty-three.
65 Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Associate Justice 1902-1932. (opinions)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was born on March 8, 1841, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1861. Holmes served for three years with the Twentieth Volunteers during the Civil War. He was wounded three times. In 1866 he returned to Harvard and received his law degree. The following year Homes was admitted to the bar and joined a law firm in Boston, where he practiced for fifteen years. Holmes taught law at his alma mater, edited the American Law Review, and lectured at the Lowell Institute. In 1881, he published a series of twelve lectures on the common law, which was translated into several languages. In 1882, while working as a full professor at Harvard Law School, Holmes was appointed by the Governor to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. He served on that Court for twenty years, the last three as Chief Justice. On December 2, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Homes to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Holmes served on the Supreme Court for twenty-nine years and retired on January 12, 1932. He died on March 6, 1935, two days short of his ninety-fourth birthday.
66 William R. Day, Associate Justice 1903-1922. (opinions)
William R. Day was born on April 17, 1849, in Ravenna, Ohio, and was graduated from the University of Michigan in 1870. After privately reading law for one year, Day studied law at the University of Michigan Law School for one year. He was admitted to the bar in 1872 and practiced law in Canton, Ohio, for the next twenty-five years. In 1866, Day was elected to the Court of Common Pleas in Canton but resigned after six months to return to his law practice. President William McKinley appointed Day First Assistant Secretary of State in 1897. On April 26, 1898, Day was elevated to Secretary. He served in that position until August 26, of that year, when he was appointed as a delegate to the Paris Peace Conference, which ended the Spanish-American War. In 1899, President McKinley appointed Day to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Four years later, on February 19, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Day to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Senate confirmed the appointment four days later. Day served on the Supreme Court for nineteen years. He retired on November 13, 1922, and accepted an appointment from President Warren G. Harding to serve on the Mixed Claims Commission to settle outstanding claims from World War I. Day died on July 9, 1923, at the age of seventy-four.
67 William H. Moody, Associate Justice 1906-1910. (opinions)
William H. Moody was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, on December 23, 1853, and raised in nearby Danvers. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1876 and enrolled in Harvard Law School but left the Law School after one year to continue his legal studies with a Boston law firm. In 1878, he was admitted to the bar and established a law practice in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Ten years later, Moody was elected City Solicitor for Haverhill, and in 1890 he became District Attorney for the Eastern District of Massachusetts. In 1895, Moody won a special election to the United States House of Representatives and was re-elected three times. Moody resigned his House seat in 1902 to accept an appointment as Secretary of the Navy under President Theodore Roosevelt. From 1904 to 1906, he served as Attorney General of the United States. President Roosevelt nominated Moody to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 12, 1906. Moody retired from the Supreme Court on November 20, 1910 , after nearly four years of service. He died on July 2, 1917, at the age of sixty-three.
68 Horace H. Lurton, Associate Justice 1910-1914. (opinions)
Horace H. Lurton was born in Newport, Kentucky, on February 26, 1844, and raised in Clarksville, Tennessee. He attended the University of Chicago in 1860 but joined the Confederate Army at the outbreak of the Civil War. Captured by Union soldiers, he soon escaped, but he was recaptured and released from prison just before the War ended. Lurton resumed his studies and was graduated from Cumberland University Law School in 1867. He returned to Clarksville and began the practice of law. In 1875, at the age of thirty-one, he was appointed by the Governor of Tennessee to the Sixth Chancery Division of Tennessee and became the youngest Chancellor in the history of the State. He resigned after three years and resumed his practice. Lurton was elected to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1886, and became its Chief Judge in 1893. Later that year, President Grover Cleveland appointed Lurton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, where he served for sixteen years. President William H. Taft nominated Lurton to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 13, 1909. The Senate confirmed the appointment one week later. Lurton served on the Supreme Court for four years. He died on July 12, 1914, at the age of seventy.
69 Willis Van Devanter, Associate Justice 1911-1937. (opinions)
Willis Van Devanter was born on April 17, 1859, in Marion, Indiana. He received a law degree from the University of Cincinnati Law School in 1881 and joined his father&aposs law firm in Marion. Three years later, Van Devanter moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, and established his own practice. Van Devanter served as a member of the commission that revised the statutes of the Wyoming Territory in 1886. In 1887, he served as City Attorney of Cheyenne, and in the following year he was elected to the Territorial Legislature. Van Devanter was only thirty years old when, in 1889, President Benjamin Harrison appointed him Chief Justice of the Wyoming Territorial Supreme Court. After Wyoming was admitted to the Union as the forty-fourth State in 1890, Van Devanter resigned as Chief Justice and returned to private practice. In 1897, President William McKinley appointed him an Assistant Attorney General, assigned to the Interior Department. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in 1903. President William H. Taft nominated Van Devanter to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 12, 1910. The Senate confirmed the appointment three days later. Van Devanter served on the Supreme Court for twenty-six years. He retired on June 2, 1937, and died on February 8, 1941, at the age of eighty-one.
70 Joseph Rucker Lamar, Associate Justice 1911-1916. (opinions)
Joseph Rucker Lamar was born in Ruckersville, Georgia, on October 14, 1857. He began his college education at the University of Georgia in 1874 and transferred one year later to Bethany College in West Virginia, where he was graduated in 1877. Lamar studied law at Washington and Lee University and clerked for an Augusta lawyer. He was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1878. Lamar practiced law in Georgia from 1880 to 1910, with a few interruptions for public service. In 1886, he was elected to the Georgia Legislature, where he served two terms, and in 1893 the Governor appointed Lamar commissioner to codify Georgia laws. His work on the laws of Georgia was approved in 1895. Lamar was elected to the Georgia Supreme Court in 1903 but resigned to in 1905 to return to private practice. President William H. Taft nominated Lamar to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 12, 1910. The Senate confirmed the appointment three days later. Lamar served on the Supreme Court for five years. He died on January 2, 1916, at the age of fifty-eight.
71 Mahlon Pitney, Associate Justice 1912-1922. (opinions)
Mahlon Pitney was born on February 5, 1858, in Morristown, New Jersey. He was graduated from Princeton University in 1879 and earned a graduate degree three years later. Pitney studied law with his father and was admitted to the bar in 1882. Pitney practiced law for seven years in Dover, New Jersey. When his father was appointed Vice Chancellor of New Jersey in 1889, Pitney returned to Morristown and took over the elder Pitney&aposs practice. Pitney was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1894 and was re-elected in 1896. He resigned before the end of his second term when he was elected to the New Jersey State Senate. He was elected President of the Senate the following year. Pitney was appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court for a seven-year term in 1901. In 1908, he was appointed Chancellor, head of both the law and equity branches of the Court. On February 19, 1912, President William H. Taft nominated Pitney to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 13, 1912. Pitney retired from the Supreme Court on December 31, 1922, after ten years of service. He died on December 9, 1924, at the age of sixty-six.
72 James Clark McReynolds, Associate Justice 1914-1941. (opinions)
James Clark McReynolds was born in Elkton, Kentucky, on February 3, 1862. He was graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1882, and from the University of Virginia Law School in 1884. McReynolds settled in Nashville, Tennessee, and established a private law practice. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1896. In 1900, Mc Reynolds accepted a position as an adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University and taught there for three years. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed McReynolds the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice. McReynolds resigned from the Department of Justice in 1907 to return to the practice of law, this time in New York, New York. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Attorney General of the United States. On August 19, 1914, President Wilson nominated McReynolds to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on August 29, 1914. McReynolds retired from the Supreme Court on January 31, 1941, after twenty-six years of service. He died on August 24, 1946, at the age of eighty-four.
73 Louis D. Brandeis, Associate Justice 1916-1939. (opinions)
Louis D. Brandeis was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 13, 1856. He attended preparatory school in Dresden, Germany, and was admitted to Harvard Law School in 1874. Following graduation in 1877, Brandeis moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he practiced law. He returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and opened a law office with a law school classmate. During his career in private practice, Brandeis secured enactment of a state law providing low-cost insurance through savings banks, defended municipal control of Boston&aposs subway system, and arbitrated labor disputes in the garment district of New York, New York. Brandeis was active in support of his alma mater and to civic affairs and was one of the founders of the Harvard Law Review. President Woodrow Wilson nominated Brandeis to the Supreme Court of the United States on January 28, 1916, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on June 1, 1916. He retired from the Supreme Court on February 13, 1939, after twenty-two years of service. He died on October 5, 1941, at the age of eighty-four.
74 John H. Clarke, Associate Justice 1916-1922. (opinions)
John H. Clarke was born in Lisbon, Ohio, on September 18, 1857. Following graduation from Western Reserve College in 1877, he was tutored in law by his father and was admitted to the bar in 1878. After practicing law with his father&aposs firm for two years, Clarke moved to Youngstown, Ohio, and established his own practice, specializing in corporate law. He also acquired an ownership in the local newspaper, which was known for its support of progressive reform. He ran for the United States Senate in 1894 but was defeated by the incumbent. In 1897, Clarke left his practice in Youngstown to join a Cleveland law firm. Clarke had been a practicing attorney for thirty-five years when President Woodrow Wilson appointed him in 1914 to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, where he served for two years. On July 14, 1916, President Wilson appointed Clarke to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Senate confirmed the appointment ten days later. Clarke resigned from the Supreme Court on September 18, 1922, to promote American participation in the League of Nations. He died on March 22, 1945, at the age of eighty-seven.
75 George Sutherland, Associate Justice 1922-1938. (opinions)
George Sutherland was born in Buckinghamshire, England, on March 25, 1862. His family emigrated to America one year later and settled in Springville, Utah Territory. Sutherland studied at Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah, from 1878 to 1881, and attended the University of Michigan Law School for one year. Sutherland established a law practice in Provo, and after ten years moved to Salt Lake City. When Utah was admitted to the Union in 1896, Sutherland was elected to the first State Senate. Four years later, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. In 1904, Sutherland was elected to the United States Senate and served two six-year terms. In 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Sutherland Chairman of the advisory committee to the Washington Conference on the Limitation of Naval Armaments. Sutherland also served as United States Consul at the Hague from 1921 to 1922. President Harding nominated Sutherland to the Supreme Court of the United States on September 5, 1922, and the Senate confirmed the appointment the same day. Sutherland retired on January 17, 1938, after fifteen years of service on the Supreme Court. He died on July 18, 1942, at the age of eighty.
76 Pierce Butler, Associate Justice 1923-1939. (opinions)
Pierce Butler was born in Northfield, Minnesota, on March 17, 1866. He attended Carleton College and was graduated in 1887 with degrees in both arts and science. He moved to St. Paul and read law for one year at a law firm and was admitted to the bar in 1888. Three years later, Butler became an assistant county attorney of Ramsey County, which embraces the city of St. Paul. In 1893, he was elected County Attorney and served until 1897. While serving as County Attorney Butler joined a law partnership and eventually became senior partner in a successor firm. In 1910, the Attorney General of the United States engaged Butler to represent the government in a number of antitrust cases. Butler served as Regent of the University of Minnesota from 1907 to 1924. President Warren G. Harding nominated Butler to the Supreme Court of the United States on November 23, 1922. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 21, 1922. Butler served on the Supreme Court for sixteen years and died on November 16, 1939, at the age of seventy-three.
77 Edward T. Sanford, Associate Justice 1923-1930. (opinions)
Edward T. Sanford was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on July 23, 1865. He was graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1883 and earned three degrees from Harvard University. Sanford then studied foreign languages and economics in France and Germany for one year. Sanford returned to Knoxville where he established a law practice. He was active in many educational, professional, and charitable organizations and also lectured in law at the University of Tennessee from 1898 to 1907. In 1906, Sanford became a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, with responsibility for prosecuting violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. One year later, he was appointed an Assistant Attorney General of the United States. In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Sanford to the United States District Court of the Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee, where he served for fifteen years. President Warren G. Harding nominated Sanford to the Supreme Court of the United States on January 24, 1923, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on January 29, 1923. Sanford served on the Supreme Court for seven years. He died on March 8, 1930, at the age of sixty-four.
78 Owen J. Roberts, Associate Justice 1930-1945. (opinions)
Owen J. Roberts was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, on May 2, 1875. He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1895 and received a law degree in 1898. Roberts was named a University Fellow in 1898 and taught in an adjunct capacity at the University of Pennsylvania until 1919. Roberts established a law practice in Philadelphia and served in a number of public offices. In 1901, he was appointed Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia and served until 1904. In 1918, Roberts was appointed a Special Deputy Attorney General of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. From 1924 to 1930, he served as a Special United States Attorney to investigate alleged wrongdoing in the Harding Administration. Roberts briefly returned to private practice in 1930, but on May 9, 1930, President Herbert Hoover nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on May 20, 1930. While on the Court, Roberts oversaw an investigation into the attack on Pearl Harbor and headed a commission that traced art objects seized by the Germans in World War II. Roberts resigned from the Supreme Court on July 31, 1945, after fifteen years of service. He died on May 17, 1955, at the age of eighty.
79 Benjamin Nathan Cardozo, Associate Justice 1932-1938. (opinions)
Benjamin Nathan Cardozo was born in New York, New York, on May 24, 1870. He was admitted to Columbia University at the age of fifteen, was graduated in 1889, and earned a graduate degree in 1890. Cardozo studied law at Columbia University and was admitted to the bar in 1891 before obtaining a degree. He began practicing appellate law with his older brother, and remained in private practice for twenty-three years. In 1914, Cardozo was elected to the New York Supreme Court, the state&aposs trial bench. Later that year, the Governor of New York appointed him to a temporary position on the New York Court of Appeals. Cardozo was elected to a full term as an Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals in 1917, and in 1926 he became Chief Judge. His writings were used as a handbook for lawyers and his lectures at Yale law school were expanded and published. On February 15, 1932, President Herbert Hoover nominated Cardozo to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on February 24, 1932. Cardozo served on the Supreme Court for six years. He died on July 9, 1938, at the age of sixty-eight.
80 Hugo Black, Associate Justice 1937-1971. (opinions)
Hugo L. Black was born in Harlan, Alabama, on February 27, 1886. He entered Birmingham Medical College in 1903, but after one year transferred to the University of Alabama Law School. He received his law degree in 1906. He was admitted to the bar and established a law practice in Ashland, Alabama. The following year, a fire destroyed his office and library, and Black moved to Birmingham. In 1911, he became a part-time police court judge, and in 1914 he was elected Public Prosecutor for Jefferson County. After military service in World War I, Black returned to his Birmingham law practice. In 1927, he was elected to the United States Senate and was re-elected six years later. In 1933, Black introduced legislation providing for a 30-hour work week which, as amended, became the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Black to the Supreme Court of the United States on August 12, 1937, and the Senate confirmed the appointment five days later. Black retired from the Supreme Court on September 17, 1971, after thirty-four years of service. He died on September 25, 1971, at the age of eighty-five.
81 Stanley F. Reed, Associate Justice 1938-1957. (opinions)
Stanley F. Reed was born in Minerva, Kentucky, on December 31, 1884. He was graduated from Kentucky Wesleylan University in 1902 and Yale University in 1906. After studying law at the University of Virginia and Columbia University, Reed took graduate courses in international law in Paris, France in 1909 and 1910. Reed practiced law with a firm in Maysville, Kentucky, from 1910 to 1917, and served for four in the Kentucky General Assembly. He went on active military duty in World War I, after which he returned to his law practice in Marysville. In 1929, President Herbert Hoover appointed Reed Counsel to the Federal Farm Board. Two years later, he was promoted to General Counsel of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Reed Special Assistant to the Attorney General, and later that year Roosevelt appointed Reed Solicitor General of the United States. On January 15, 1938, President Roosevelt nominated Reed to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on January 25, 1938. Reed retired from the Supreme Court on February 25, 1957, after nineteen years of service. After retirement, he served briefly as Chairman of President Dwight D. Eisenhower&aposs Civil Rights Commission. He died on April 2, 1980, at the age of ninety-five.
82 Felix Frankfurter, Associate Justice 1939-1962. (opinions)
Felix Frankfurter was born in Vienna, Austria, on November, 15, 1882. When he was twelve years old, his family emigrated to the United States and settled in New York, New York. Frankfurter was graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1902 and Harvard Law School in 1906. Upon graduation, he took a position with a New York law firm, but within the year he was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In 1910, Frankfurter began four years of service in the War Department&aposs Bureau of Insular Affairs as a legal officer. In 1914, he accepted an appointment to the faculty of Harvard Law School. He returned to Washington in 1917 to become assistant to the Secretary of War. He later became Secretary and counsel to the President's Mediation Commission and, subsequently, Chairman of the War Labor Politics Board. After World War I, he rejoined the Harvard Law School faculty. President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Frankfurter to the Supreme Court of the United States on January 5, 1939, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on January 17, 1939. After twenty-three years of service, Frankfurter retired from the Supreme Court on August 28, 1962. He died on February 22, 1965, at the age of eighty-two.
83 William O. Douglas, Associate Justice 1939-1975. (opinions)
William O. Douglas was born in Maine, Minnesota, on October 16, 1898, and raised in Yakima, Washington. He entered Whitman College in 1916, but his studies were interrupted by military service in World War I. Douglas was graduated from Whitman in 1920 and taught school for two years before attending law school at Columbia University. Upon graduation in 1925, he joined a New York law firm, but left two years later to spend one year in Yakima. He subsequently returned to teach law at Columbia University, and transferred to the faculty of Yale University in 1929. In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Douglas to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in 1937 he became Chairman. President Roosevelt nominated Douglas to the Supreme Court of the United States on March 20, 1939. The Senate confirmed the appointment on April 4, 1939. Douglas had the longest tenure of any Justice, serving on the Supreme Court for thirty-six years with and spanning the careers of four Chief Justices. He retired on November 12, 1975, and died on January 19, 1980, at the age of eighty-one.
84 Frank W. Murphy, Associate Justice 1940-1949. (opinions)
Frank W. Murphy was born on April 13, 1890, in Harbor Beach, Michigan. He was graduated from the University of Michigan in 1912 and University Law School in 1914. After his admission to the bar in 1914, Murphy clerked with a Detroit law firm for three years. In World War I, he served with the American forces in Europe. Murphy remained abroad after the War to pursue graduate studies in London and Dublin. In 1919, Murphy became Chief Assistant Attorney General for the Eastern District of Michigan, and from 1920 to 1923 he was engaged in private law practice. From 1923 to 1930, Murphy served on the Recorder&aposs Court of Detroit. He was elected Mayor of Detroit in 1930 and served for three years. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Murphy Governor General of the Philippines in 1933. When the Philippines achieved independence in 1935, Murphy was named United States High Commissioner. After his return to the United States in 1936, Murphy was elected Governor of Michigan and served for two years. President Roosevelt appointed him Attorney General of the United States in 1939. One year later, on January 4, 1940, President Roosevelt nominated Murphy to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on January 15, 1940. Murphy served on the Supreme Court for nine years. He died on July 19, 1949, at the age of fifty-nine.
85 James F. Byrnes, Associate Justice 1941-1942. (opinions)
James F. Byrnes was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 2, 1879. He left school at the age of fourteen to work as a law clerk in a Charleston law firm. He learned shorthand and became a court reporter in 1900. He then read law and was admitted to the bar in 1903. Byrnes became District Attorney for the Second Circuit of South Carolina in 1908, and in 1910 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served until 1925. In 1930 he was elected to the United States Senate, and he was re-elected in 1936. On June 12, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Byrnes to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Senate confirmed the appointment the same day. After only sixteen months of service Byrnes resigned from the Supreme Court on October 3, 1942, to accept a series of wartime appointments. He served as Director, successively, of the Office of Economic Stabilization and the Office of War Mobilization. In 1945, President Harry S. Truman appointed Byrnes Secretary of State. He resigned from that office in 1947, resumed the practice of law, and was elected Governor of South Carolina for a four-year term in 1950. Byrnes died on April 9, 1972, at the age of ninety-two.
86 Robert H. Jackson, Associate Justice 1941-1954. (opinions)
Robert H. Jackson was born on February 13, 1892, in Spring Creek, Pennsylvania, and raised in Jamestown, New York. In 1912, he completed a two-year course of study at Albany Law School and served an apprenticeship in a law firm. He then established a law practice in Jamestown. In 1934, Jackson moved to Washington D.C. to become a General Counsel to the Internal Revenue Service. From 1936 to 1941, Jackson served successively as Assistant United States Attorney General, Solicitor General, and Attorney General of the United States. In the latter position, he devised the legal strategy by which President Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to provide destroyers to Great Britain in exchange for military bases on British territory. President Roosevelt nominated Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States on June 12, 1941. The Senate confirmed the appointment on July 7, 1941. While on the Court, Jackson was appointed Chief United States Prosecutor at the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany. Jackson served on the Supreme Court for thirteen years. He died on October 9, 1954, at the age of sixty-two.
87 Wiley B. Rutledge, Associate Justice 1943-1949. (opinions)
Wiley B. Rutledge was born in Cloverport, Kentucky, on July 20, 1894. During his early years, his family moved successively to Texas, Louisiana, and Asheville, North Carolina. Rutledge attended Maryville College in Tennessee for two years and transferred to the University of Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in 1914. He then taught high school and attended Indiana University Law School part-time. Rutledge received his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1922. Rutledge practiced law for two years with a firm in Boulder, Colorado, before deciding on an academic career. For the next fifteen years, he was a professor of law and dean at a succession of law schools. In 1935, he became Dean of the University of Iowa College of Law. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Rutledge to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Four years later, on January 11, 1943, President Roosevelt nominated Rutledge to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on February 8, 1943. Rutledge served on the Supreme Court for six years. He died on September 10, 1949, at the age of fifty-five.
88 Harold H. Burton, Associate Justice 1945-1958. (opinions)
Harold H. Burton was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, on June 22, 1888. He was graduated from Bowdoin College in 1909 and from Harvard Law School in 1912. After law school, Burton moved to Ohio, engaged in private practice for two years, and then worked for a public utility in Utah for two years. When the United States entered World War I, Burton was working as counsel for an Idaho public utility. He served in an infantry regiment of the United States Army, and at the end of the War returned to Cleveland and private law practice. Burton was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1929 and the same year was named the Director of Law for the City of Cleveland. After serving a brief term as acting Mayor of Cleveland from 1931 to 1932, he was elected Mayor in 1935 and was twice re-elected. In 1941, Burton was elected to the United States Senate where he served four years. President Harry S. Truman nominated Burton to the Supreme Court on September 19, 1945, and the Senate confirmed the appointment the same day. Burton retired from the Supreme Court on October 13, 1958, after thirteen years of service. He died on October 28, 1964, at the age of seventy-six.
89 Tom C. Clark, Associate Justice 1949-1967. (opinions)
Tom C. Clark was born on September 23, 1899, in Dallas, Texas. Following military service in World War I, Clark enrolled in the University of Texas, and received his law degree in 1922. Clark practiced law in Dallas until 1927, when he was appointed Civil District Attorney of the City. After serving five years he resumed his law practice. In 1937, Clark was appointed a Special Assistant in the Justice Department, and promoted to Assistant Attorney General in 1943. President Harry S. Truman appointed Clark Attorney General of the United States in 1945, and he served in that position until 1949. On August 2, 1949, President Truman nominated Clark to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on August 18,1949. Clark served on the Supreme Court for seventeen years. He retired on June 12, 1967, when his son was appointed Attorney General of the United States. Following his retirement, Clark served as the first Chairman of the Federal Judicial Center, which was created by Congress to improve federal court administration. Clark also accepted assignments to sit by designation on various United States Courts of Appeals until his death on June 13, 1977, at the age of seventy-seven.
90 Sherman Minton, Associate Justice 1949-1956. (opinions)
Sherman Minton was born in Georgetown, Indiana, on October 20, 1890. He received a law degree from Indiana University in 1915, where among his classmates were future Republican Presidential candidate, Wendell L. Willkie, and future Indiana Governor, Paul V. McNutt. Minton received an additional degree from Yale University Law School in 1917 following one year of graduate study. Minton established a law practice in New Albany, Indiana, a town near his birthplace. In 1933, Minton was appointed Public Counselor to the Indiana Public Service Commission. One year later, he ran successfully for the United States Senate and served one six-year term. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Minton to the White House staff as an administrative assistant in charge of coordinating military agencies. Later that year, President Roosevelt appointed Minton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, where he served for eight years. President Harry S. Truman nominated Minton to the Supreme Court of the United States on September 15, 1949. The Senate confirmed the appointment on October 4, 1949. Minton retired from the Supreme Court on October 15, 1956, after seven years of service. He died on April 9, 1965, at the age of seventy-four.
91 John Marshall Harlan II, Associate Justice 1955-1971. (opinions)
John Marshall Harlan was born in Chicago, Illinois, on May 20, 1899, and named after his grandfather, who served as an Associate Justice from 1877 to 1911. Harlan was graduated from Princeton University in 1920 and studied law for three years at Balliol College, Oxford. He received his law degree from New York Law School in 1925. Harlan entered private practice with a New York law firm. He remained a member for twenty-five years but took periodic leaves of absence to serve in public office. In 1925, he was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney for the Second District of New York, and from 1928 to 1930 he served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for New York. In World War II, Harlan served as an officer in the United States Air Force. After the War, he returned to his law practice and served as chief counsel to the New York State Crime Commission from 1951 to 1953. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Harlan to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On November 8, 1954, President Eisenhower nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 16, 1955. Harlan retired from the Supreme Court on September 23, 1971. He died on December 29, 1971, at the age of seventy-two.
92 William J. Brennan, Jr., Associate Justice 1956-1990. (opinions)
William J. Brennan, Jr. Was born on April 25, 1906, in Newark, New Jersey. He was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1928 and received a law degree from Harvard University in 1931. After admission to the bar in 1932, Brennan joined a law firm and practiced until he began his military service in the Army with the outbreak of World War II and served as a member of the staff of the Under Secretary of War. When the War ended in 1945, he returned to Newark and resumed his law practice. In 1949, Governor Alfred E. Driscoll appointed Brennan to the newly created New Jersey Superior Court. The following year he was elevated to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court and two years later to the State Supreme Court. On October 16, 1956 President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave Brennan a recess appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Three months later, on January 14, 1957, Brennan was formally nominated to the Court, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on March 19, 1957. After thirty-three years of service, Brennan retired from the Supreme Court on July 20, 1990, at the age of eighty-four, and died on July 24, 1997, at the age of ninety-one.
93 Charles E. Whittaker, Associate Justice 1957-1962. (opinions)
Charles E. Whittaker was born in Troy, Kansas, on February 22, 1901. He left school at the age of sixteen to work on the family farm. Four years later, with tutoring, he was able to qualify for the University of Kansas City Law School and received a degree in 1924. He was admitted to the bar one year before his graduation. Whittaker joined the Kansas City law firm where he had worked part-time as an office boy during his student years and became a senior partner in two years. For the next thirty years, he practiced law. Whittaker was President of the Missouri Bar Association from 1953 to 1954. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Whittaker to the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Two years later, President Eisenhower elevated him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Whittaker had served for less than one year when, on March 2, 1957, President Eisenhower nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 19, 1957. Whittaker served on the Supreme Court for five years. He retired on March 31, 1962, and died November 26, 1973, at the age of seventy-two.
94 Potter Stewart, Associate Justice 1958-1981. (opinions)
Potter Stewart was born in Jackson, Michigan, on January 23, 1915. He was graduated from Yale College in 1937. After one year of postgraduate study at Cambridge University, England, he enrolled in Yale Law School. Following graduation in 1941, Stewart worked in a New York law firm. Stewart&aposs legal career had just begun when the United States entered World War II. He served as an officer in the United States Navy and occasionally performed legal services in court-martials. After the War, he practiced law in New York, but soon returned to Cincinnati and joined a law firm there. Stewart practiced law in Cincinnati until 1954. He was twice elected to the City Council and served as Vice Mayor from 1952 to 1953. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Stewart to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1954, where he served for four years. On October 14, 1958, President Eisenhower gave Stewart a recess appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States. On January 17, 1959, Stewart was formally nominated to the Court, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on May 5, 1959. Stewart retired from the Supreme Court on July 3, 1981, after twenty-three years of service. He died on December 7, 1985, at the age of seventy.
95 Byron R. White, Associate Justice 1962-1993. (opinions)
Byron R. White was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, on June 8, 1917, and raised in the nearby town of Wellington. He entered the University of Colorado in 1934 and was graduated in 1938. White attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar for one year and then enrolled in Yale Law School. White&aposs education was interrupted the United States entry into World War II. He joined the Navy, serving in the South Pacific. After the War, he completed his legal studies at Yale and was graduated in 1946. Upon graduation, White received an appointment as clerk to Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson of the United States Supreme Court for the 1946-1947 Term. He then returned to Colorado and practiced with a Denver law firm for fourteen years. In 1961, White was appointed Deputy Attorney General of the United States by President John F. Kennedy. White served in that position until March 30, 1962, when President Kennedy nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on April 11, and White took the oath of office on April 16, 1962. He retired from the Court on June 28, 1993.
96 Arthur J. Goldberg, Associate Justice 1962-1965. (opinions)
Arthur J. Goldberg was born in Chicago, Illinois, on August 8, 1908. He was graduated from Northwestern University in 1929 and received his law degree in 1930. Goldberg was admitted to the bar and joined a law firm in which he specialized in labor law. He first gained national recognition by representing the Chicago Newspaper Guild in a 1938 strike. Goldberg served as Chief of the Labor Division of the Office of Strategic Services in Europe during World War II. After the war, Goldberg returned to his practice and became counsel to both the Congress of Industrial Organizations and the United Steelworkers of America. He played a major role in the merger of the two largest national labor organizations in 1955. President John F. Kennedy appointed Goldberg Secretary of Labor in 1961. The following year, on August 29, 1962, President Kennedy nominated Goldberg to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on September 25, 1962. Goldberg had been on the Supreme Court for three years when, in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Goldberg resigned from the Supreme Court on July 25, 1965. Goldberg retired from his ambassadorship in 1968 and returned to private practice. He died on January 19, 1990, at the age of eighty-one.
97 Abe Fortas, Associate Justice 1965-1969. (opinions)
Abe Fortas was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 19, 1910. He was graduated from Southwestern College (now Rhodes University) in 1930 and from Yale University Law School in 1933. After graduation, Fortas taught law at Yale for one year. From 1934 to 1939, he held a series of positions in the newly created Securities and Exchange Commission. In the latter year, he became General Counsel to the Public Works Administration. In 1941, Fortas was appointed director of the division of power in the Department of the Interior, and one year later was named Under Secretary. Following World War II, Fortas and two associates established a law partnership in Washington, D.C., specializing in corporate law. After two decades of private practice, Fortas was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the Supreme Court of the United States on July 28, 1965. The Senate confirmed the appointment on August 11, 1965. Fortas served on the Supreme Court for three years. He resigned on May 14, 1969, and returned to private practice. He died on April 5, 1982, at the age of seventy-one.
98 Thurgood Marshall, Associate Justice 1967-1991. (opinions)
Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 2, 1908. He was graduated in 1930 from Lincoln University and in 1933 from Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C. Marshall began a legal career as counsel to the Baltimore Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He joined the national legal staff in 1936 and in 1938 became Chief Legal Officer. In 1940, the NAACP created the Legal Defense and Education Fund, with Marshall as its Director and Counsel. For more than twenty years, Marshall coordinated the NAACP effort to end racial segregation. In 1954, he argued the case of Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court of the United States. President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1961. Four years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him Solicitor General of the United States. President Johnson nominated Marshall to the Supreme Court of the United States on June 13, 1967. The Senate confirmed the appointment on August 30, 1967. Marshall served twenty-three years on the Supreme Court, retiring on June 17, 1991, at the age of eighty-two. He died on January 24, 1993, at the age of eighty-four.
99 Harry A. Blackmun, Associate Justice 1970-1994. (opinions)
Harry A. Blackmun was born in Nashville, Illinois, on November 12, 1908. He spent his early years in the St. Paul area of Minnesota. Blackmun was graduated from Harvard University in 1929 and Harvard Law School in 1932. Blackmun returned to Minnesota and served for one and a half years as a law clerk to Judge John B. Sanborn of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, whom he succeeded on that Court more than twenty-five years later. In 1934, Blackmun entered private practice with a Minneapolis firm and remained there until 1950. During that time he served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School and the St. Paul College of Law. In 1950, Blackmun became in-house counsel to the Mayo Foundation and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Blackmun to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in 1959. President Richard M. Nixon nominated Blackmun to the Supreme Court of the United States on April 14, 1970. The Senate confirmed the appointment on May 12, 1970. He retired from the Court on June 30, 1994.
100 Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Associate Justice 1972-1987. (opinions)
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. was born in Suffolk, Virginia, on September 19, 1907, and lived most of his life in Richmond, Virginia. He was graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1929 and from Washington and Lee University Law School in 1931. In 1932, he received a master&aposs degree from Harvard Law School. Powell entered practice with a Richmond law firm, where he became senior partner and continued his association until 1971. During World War II, he served in the United States Army Air Force in Europe and North America. After the War, Powell resumed his law practice. He served as the President of the American Bar Association from 1964 to 1965 and of the American College of Trial Lawyers from 1968 to 1969. In 1966, he served as a member of President Lyndon B. Johnson&aposs Crime Commission. On October 21, 1971, Richard M. Nixon nominated Powell to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 6 1971. Powell served on the Supreme Court for fifteen years. He retired on June 26, 1987, at the age of seventy-nine.
101 John Paul Stevens, Associate Justice 1975-present. (opinions)
John Paul Stevens was born in Chicago, Illinois, on April 20, 1920. He was graduated from the University of Chicago in 1941 and from Northwestern University School of Law in 1947, after having served in the United States Navy during World War II. He served as law clerk to Associate Justice Wiley B. Rutledge of the United States Supreme Court for the 1947-1948 Term. He practiced law in Chicago from 1949 to 1970, except for 1951, when he served as Associate Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee&aposs Subcommittee on the Study of Monopoly Power. In the early 1950s, Stevens taught on the law faculty at Northwestern and Chicago Universities. From 1953 to 1955, Stevens was a member of the Attorney General&aposs National Committee to Study the Antitrust Laws. In 1969, he served as general counsel to a special commission appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to investigate the integrity of one of its judgments. In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon appointed Stevens to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. President Gerald R. Ford nominated Stevens to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 1, 1975. The Senate confirmed the appointment on December 17, 1975.
102 Sandra Day O&aposConnor, Associate Justice 1981-2006. (opinions)
Sandra Day O&aposConnor was born in El Paso, Texas, on March 26, 1930. She was graduated from Stanford University in 1950 and Stanford University Law School in 1952. After graduation, O&aposConnor became a Deputy County Attorney of San Mateo, California. She moved to Germany and worked as a civilian attorney for the United States Army in Frankfurt from 1954 to 1957. Upon her return to the United States, O&aposConnor engaged in private law practice. She was appointed to the Arizona State Senate in 1969 to fill an unexpired term, and the following year she was elected to the State Senate. Twice re-elected, she was majority leader of the State Senate from 1973 to 1974. O&aposConnor was elected to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1975 and appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1979. President Ronald Reagan nominated O&aposConnor to the Supreme Court of the United States on August 19, 1981. The Senate confirmed the appointment on September 21, 1981, making O&aposConnor the first female Associate Justice in the history of the Court.
103 Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice 1986-2016. (opinions)
Antonin Scalia was born on March 11, 1936, in Trenton, New Jersey, and raised in Queens, Long Island. He was graduated from Georgetown University in 1957, spending his junior year at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He was graduated from Harvard Law School in 1960. Scalia moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and practiced there until 1967, when he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia Law School. In 1971, Scalia became General Counsel of the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy. He was chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1972 to 1974. Scalia was appointed Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice in 1974. After one half year as Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., Scalia returned in 1977 to teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. He was also visiting professor at the Law Schools of Georgetown and Stanford Universities. President Ronald Reagan appointed Scalia to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1982. Four years later, on June 24, 1986, President Reagan nominated Scalia to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on September 17, 1986.
104 Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice 1988-present . (opinions)
Anthony M. Kennedy was born in Sacramento, California, on July 23, 1936. While an undergraduate at Stanford University, Kennedy went to England to study at the London School of Economics for one year. He was graduated from Stanford University in 1958 and Harvard Law School in 1961. Kennedy was admitted to the California Bar in 1962 and practiced with a firm in San Francisco. One year later, he returned to his home town of Sacramento where he practiced law for twelve years. He also served as an adjunct professor at the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, from 1965 to 1988. In 1976, President Gerald Ford appointed Kennedy to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where he served for twelve years. While on that Court he served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Judicial Center. President Ronald Reagan nominated Kennedy to the Supreme Court of the United States on November 30, 1987. The Senate confirmed the appointment on February 3, 1988.
105 David H. Souter, Associate Justice 1990-present. (opinions)
David H. Souter was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, on September 17, 1939. He was graduated from Harvard University in 1961. The following year he studied at Magdalen College, in Oxford, England, as a Rhodes Scholar. He was graduated from Harvard Law School in 1966. Souter was admitted to the bar and joined a law firm in Concord, New Hampshire. In 1968, he became an Assistant Attorney General of New Hampshire. In 1971, Souter became Deputy Attorney General and in 1976 Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire. During these years Souter also served on the New Hampshire Governor&aposs Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the New Hampshire Judicial Council, the Maine&ndashNew Hampshire Interstate Boundary Commission, and the New Hampshire Policy Standards and Training Council. Souter became a Judge of the New Hampshire Superior Court in 1978. He was an Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1983-1990. President George Bush nominated Souter to the Supreme Court of the United States on July 15, 1990. The Senate confirmed the appointment on October 2, 1990.
106 Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice 1991-present. (opinions)
Clarence Thomas was born in the Pinpoint community near Savannah, Georgia, on June 23, 1948. He was graduated from The College of the Holy Cross in 1971 and from Yale Law School in 1974. Thomas was admitted to the Missouri bar in 1974 and became an Assistant Attorney General of the State of Missouri the same year. He was an attorney for the Monsanto Company from 1977 to 1979. Thomas served as legislative assistant to Senator John C. Danforth of Missouri for the following two years. In 1981, Thomas was appointed Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the United States Department of Education. In 1982, he was named Chairman of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and served in that capacity until 1990. President George Bush appointed Thomas to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1990. On July 1, 1991, President Bush nominated Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on October 15, 1991.
107 Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice 1993-present. (opinions)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 15, 1933. She was graduated from Cornell University in 1954 and then attended Harvard and Columbia Law Schools from 1956 to 1959. Ginsburg was admitted to the bar in 1959. She taught law at Rutgers and Columbia Universities from 1963 to 1980. In 1980, President James Earl Carter, Jr. nominated Ginsburg to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Additionally, during the years 1972 to 1980 she founded and served as counsel and general counsel for the Women&aposs Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In 1993, President William Clinton nominated Ginsburg to the United States Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed her appointment on August 3, 1993.
108 Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice 1994-present. (opinions)
Stephen Breyer was born in San Francisco, California, on August 15, 1938. He graduated from Stanford University in 1959, then attended Oxford University, Magdalen College for two years, before returning to earn his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1964. Upon graduation from law school, he clerked for Associate Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg. Breyer taught at Harvard Law School as an assistant professor and professor of law from 1967 to 1980. In 1980, President James Earl Carter, Jr., nominated Breyer to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Breyer served as a member of the United States Sentencing Commission from 1985-1989, and as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 1990-1994. He served as Chief Judge for the First Circuit from 1990-1994. In 1994, President William Clinton nominated him to the United States Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed the appointment July 29, 1994.
U.S. Chief Justice John Jay: When All Judges Were Originalists
Portrait of John Jay
This blog article was written by Hon. Mark C. Dillon, and it’s a preview of his Judicial Notice Issue 15 article on John Jay. Mark C. Dillon is an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court, an Adjunct Professor of New York Practice at Fordham University School of Law, and an author of the McKinney’s CPLR Practice Commentaries. He has authored By The Light of My Burning Effigies: Chief Justice John Jay in the Struggle of a New Nation, a book that is being published in 2020 by SUNY Press.
Judicial NoticeIssue 15 is on the way, but we ran into a slight delay and are unable to send the newest edition to your homes. Who are the four men profiled in this new issue? Find out each week as our authors preview their impressive articles.
There is a misperception that the 1804 case of Marbury v. Madison was the first decision of the U.S. Supreme Court of great constitutional importance. Instead, the first case of great constitutional magnitude was the 1793 case of Chisholm v. Georgia, the third case ever decided by the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Jay, of Westchester County, was at the center of the political and judicial maelstrom that surrounded Chisholm.
Chisholm arose from the failure of the framers of the 1789 constitution to clearly address the question of whether the sovereign states could be sued as defendants in the federal courts. There is evidence, including Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper #81, that the drafters of the constitution did not intend for the states to be subject to federal suits, which was among the assurances that the states relied upon in ratifying the constitution. The actual constitutional language that was ratified, however, said in Article III section 2 that the federal courts could hear suits “between a State and Citizens of another State.” Creditors who were owed money from the near-bankrupt states soon tested the constitutional language by bringing suits against them, and the Chisholm case was the first such action to reach the Supreme Court. Chisholm raised the question of whether the concept of constitutional “originalism,” at a time when all jurists were originalists, was to be guided by the intent of the drafters or, alternatively, by the plain language of the constitution itself. Usually, there is no difference between intent and plain language, but in the case of Chisholm, the difference was glaring.
All members of the U.S. Supreme Court during John Jay’s tenure as Chief Justice were Federalists. There were three aspects of Jay’s personal and professional life that predisposed him to believing that debtors be held to account in courts. When Jay was a child, his father, Peter Jay, retired from mercantile trade and spent the following three years collecting debts from creditors, amounting in today’s dollars to approximately $1.1 million. As a New York attorney, a portion of Jay’s law practice was representing clients in debt collection matters. And as a negotiator with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams of the Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the Revolutionary War with Great Britain, Jay help write a provision that each nation honor the debt collection efforts of its citizens in the courts of the other nation.
The State of Georgia, which owed money to plaintiff Alexander Chisholm, refused to defend itself in any court on the ground that it was immune to suit as a state sovereign. The Supreme Court held, in a 4-1 vote, that the plain language of the Article III section 2 of the constitution permitted the suit by Alexander Chisholm against the state. John Jay’s opinion defined “originalism” as reliant upon the constitution’s plain language, and not the intent of the drafters.
Not a New Development
These critics act as if a liberal judge on the Supreme Court is a brand new development, but it's the work of previous liberal judges that protects their right to come pretty close to slandering Justice Ginsburg in their published work.
Also unfortunate for her critics is the fact that it's unlikely that Justice Ginsburg will go down in history as the most liberal justice. Just take a look at her competition. While they sometimes sided with their conservative colleagues (often in tragic ways, such as in Korematsu v. United States, which upheld the constitutionality of the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II), these justices are generally considered to be among the most liberal of all time:
Sotomayor graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx in 1972 and entered the Ivy League, attending Princeton University. The young Latina woman felt overwhelmed by her new school after she received low marks on first mid-term paper, she sought help, taking more English and writing classes. She also became highly involved with the Puerto Rican groups on campus, including Acción Puertorrique༚ and the Third World Center. The groups, she said, provided her "with an anchor I needed to ground myself in that new and different world." She also worked with the university&aposs discipline committee, where she started developing her legal skills.
All of Sotomayor&aposs hard work paid off when she graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 1976. She was also awarded the Pyne Prize, which is the highest academic award given to Princeton undergraduates. That same year, Sotomayor entered Yale Law School, where she was an editor for the Yale Law Journal. She received her J.D. in 1979, passed the bar in 1980 and immediately began work as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, serving as a trial lawyer under District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Sotomayor was responsible for prosecuting robbery, assault, murder, police brutality and child pornography cases.
The Supreme Court of the United States - History
When Congress first met on March 4, 1789, one of the first items of business was to fulfill the requirements of Article III, section 1, of the Constitution. Article III, section 1, provides that the "judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." The First Congress responded by enacting the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established 13 district courts in major cities, three circuit courts, and a Supreme Court comprised of a Chief Justice and five Associate Justices. (See Library of Congress)
President George Washington signed the Judiciary Act on September 24, 1789, and later that day nominated John Jay of New York to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He also nominated James Wilson of Pennsylvania, John Rutledge of South Carolina, William Cushing of Massachusetts, Robert Harrison of Maryland, and John Blair of Virginia to be Associate Justices. When Harrison declined to serve, President Washington nominated James Iredell of North Carolina. During his term in office, President Washington appointed three Chief Justices and eight Associate Justices. Washington Appointed more Justices to the Supreme Court than any other President in history. (See U.S. Senate References)
John Jay of New York took the oath as the first Chief Justice on October 19, 1789, and called the Court to assemble for the first time on February 1, 1790, in the Merchants Exchange Building in New York City, and then the Nation's Capitol. (See Supreme Court of the United States) Due to transportation problems, the Chief Justice postponed the first meeting of the Court until the following day. At that time, William Cushing of Massachusetts and John Blair of Virginia were sworn in as Associate Justices. John Rutledge of South Carolina took the oath on February 15, 1790. James Iredell of North Carolina took the oath on May 12, 1790. (See Supreme Court of the United States)
The original Supreme Court met for only a few weeks each February and August. Two notable cases from the Jay Court were Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), which led to the adoption of the Eleventh Amendment, which led to the removal of federal jurisdiction in suits by citizens of on state against another state, and Glass v. Sloop Betsey (1794), which established admiralty jurisdiction in all federal courts.
The fact that the original Justices heard few appeals did not mean that they were not busy. In fact, they were often exhausted from "riding the circuit," a requirement of the Judiciary Act of 1789. That requirement meant that Justices of the Supreme Court were mandated to preside twice a year over the circuit courts located throughout the country. Congress included the provision in the Judiciary Act to ensure that the Justices would be aware of local opinion and state law. Riding the circuit required each Justice to travel to the lower courts twice a year.Chief Justice Jay found the practice so intolerable that he threatened to resign. This prompted Congress to reduce the requirement in 1793 to one journey per year. (See the Supreme Court Historical Society) Congress ultimately reduced the requirement in 1793 to one journey per year. It was not until 1891 that Congress abolished the requirement in the Judiciary Act of 1891.
To date, there have been 112 Justices on the Supreme Court, including 17 Chief Justices.