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The Supreme Court

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Supreme Court Justices
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Supreme Court Justices

*asterick denotes chief justice


John Jay* (December 12, 1745 - May 17, 1829) - In office

October 19, 1789 - June 29, 1795

He was a Founding Father, Signer of the Treaty of Paris, Second Governor of New York, and First Chief Justice of the United States. He wrote, along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, a few of the articles known as the Federalist Papers, arguing in favor of centralized government. He served as Sixth President of Continental Congress (1788-1789), the Second United States (US) Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and the United States Minister to Spain. After losing the U.S. Presidential Election in 1800, Jay retired from public life.

John Rutledge* (September 17, 1739 - July 23, 1800) - In office June 30, 1795 - December 28, 1795

He was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, the Thirty-first Governor of South Carolina, and was nominated as Second Chief Justice of the United States. He played a vital role in the Stamp Act Congress of 1765, and before the signing of the Constitution served as President of South Carolina. He was nominated by George Washington as the first associate justice to the United States Supreme Court in 1789. Because of a rejection by the Senate, Rutledge was never formally nominated to Chief Justice, and as a result of this disappointment, retired from public life with his reputation in shambles.

William Cushing (March 1, 1732 - September 13, 1810) - In office September 26, 1789 - September 13, 1810

He was appointed to Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by George Washington in 1789, and became the longest serving of the Court's original members. He was offered the appointment of Chief Justice in 1796, and despite being unanimously accepted by the Senate, he declined the opportunity.

James Wilson (September 14, 1742 - August 28, 1798) - In office September 26, 1789 - August 28, 1798

He was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence a member of Congress (1775-77 and 1785-87), one of the directors of the Bank of North America in 1781, and a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He was appointed by President George Washington to be an Associate Justice to the US. Supreme Court from in 1789 where he served until his death. He fell into financial difficulty in his later years and spent time in debtor's prison while serving on the Supreme Court.

John Blair Jr. (October 1732 - August 31, 1800) - In office September 26, 1789 - October 25, 1795

He was a legal scholar, Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and esteemed jurist. Despite his accomplishments being largely overshadowed by James Madison, Blair was recognized by George Washington with a Supreme Court Appointment in 1789. He retired from public office, due to failing health, in 1796.

James Iredell (October 5, 1751 - October 20, 1799) - In office February 10, 1790 - October 20, 1799

He was the author of the essay To the Inhabitants of Great Britain (1774), an act which made him the most influential political essayist in North Carolina during that time. He served as a Superior Court judge from 1778 until he was appointed by Washington as Associate Supreme Court Justice in 1790. He died while in office.

Thomas Johnson (November 4, 1732 - October 26, 1819) - In office August 5, 1792 - January 16, 1793

He was the first Governor of Maryland, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and the first federal judge for the distrit of Maryland. He played a pivotal role in the drafting of his home state's first state constitution. George Washington appointed Johnson to Associate Supreme Court Justice in 1792, to fill the space left by Rutledge's leaving office. He retired from public life in the early 19th century to his estate at Rose Hill Manor in Frederick, Maryland.

William Paterson (December 24, 1745 - September 9, 1806) - In office March 4, 1793 - September 9, 1806

He was the second Governor of New Jersey, signatory to the United States Constitution, the first Attorney-General of New Jersey, and United States (US) Senator from New Jersey. Washington appointed Paterson to Associate Supreme Court Justice in 1793, where he remained until his death in 1806.

Samuel Chase (April 17, 1741 - June 19, 1811) - In office January 27, 1796 - June 19, 1811

He was a representative of Maryland in the First Continental Congress, a member of the Annapolis Convention, and a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence. He was greatly revered for his oratorial skills, and often referred to as the "Demosthenes" of politics. Washington appointed Chase to Associate Supreme Court Justice in 1796. In 1805, Charged with discriminating against supporters of Thomas Jefferson, although he was eventually found to be not guilty, Chase became the first Supreme Court Justice to be impeached.

Oliver Ellsworth* (April 29, 1745 - November 26, 1807) - In office March 4, 1796 - September 30, 1800

He was a member of the Committee of Detail that was involved in the Drafting of the United States Constitution, an inaugural United States Senator from Connecticut, and Third Chief Justice of the United States. President George Washington appointed Ellsworth to be Chief Justice of the United States in 1796 and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. He served until 1800 when he was forced to resign due to failing health.


Bushrod Washington (June 5, 1762 - November 26, 1829) -

In office December 20, 1798 - November 26, 1829

He was the nephew of George Washington and one of the creators and First President of the American Colonization Society, which helped support the return of African-Americans to "greater freedom" in Africa. John Adams nominated Washington to fill the seat vacated by James Wilson in 1798. He served in the position until his death in 1829.

Alfred Moore (May 21, 1755 - October 15, 1810) - In office

December 10, 1799 - January 26, 1804

He was a distinguished judge from North Carolina, a captain in the First Regiment of the North Carolina Line in the United States Revolutionary War, a founder of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a committed federalist. John Adams nominated Moore in 1799 to fill the seat formerly taken by James Iredell. Moore resigned his position in 1804.

John Marshall* (September 24, 1755 - July 6, 1835) - In office January 31, 1801 - July 6, 1835

He fought in the Revolutionary war as part of the Eleventh Regiment of Virginia Troops, was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1780), Fourth United States Secretary of State, and Fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Appointed by John Adams in 1801, Marshall became the longest-serving Chief Justice, and the fourth longest-serving justice in United States Supreme Court History.

William Johnson (December 17 or December 27, 1771 - August 4, 1834) - In office March 26, 1804 - August 4, 1834

He was a state legislator and judge from South Carolina, representing the city of Charleston, before being appointed by Thomas Jefferson as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States. He remained in this position until his death in 1834.

Henry B. Livingston (November 25, 1757 - March 18, 1823) - In office January 19, 1807-March 17, 1823

He was an lieutenant colonel of the New York Line in the Revolutionary War, a justice of the New York Court of Appeals, and a private secretary to John Jay. He was nominated to Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court by Thomas Jefferson, filling the seat vacated by William Paterson. He remained there until his death in 1823.

Thomas Todd (January 23, 1765 - February 7, 1826) - In office March 3, 1807 - February 7, 1826

He was the Chief Clerk, Justice, and eventually the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals and he served at the five conventions during the debate for Kentucky statehood in 1792. Appointed by Jefferson, Todd became Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court in 1807, after Congress added two seats from 5 to 7 under Statutes 420 and 421.

Gabriel Duvall (December 6, 1752 - March 6, 1844) - In office November 23, 1811 - January 12, 1835

He was a Maryland State court Judge and legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and the Comptroller to the Treasury. Nominated by James Madison in 1752, Duvall became an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court. According to the work The Story of the Supreme Court by Ernest Sutherland Bates, he is "probably the most insignificant of all Supreme Court Justices." He retired from public office in 1835.

Joseph Story (September 18, 1779 - September 10, 1845) - In office November 18, 1811 - September 10, 1845

He was the first Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University, a representative of Massachusetts to the U.S. House of Representatives, and one of the most successful American authors of the nineteenth century. After being nominated by James Madison, at the age of 32, Story became the youngest Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Smith Thompson (January 17, 1768 - December 18, 1843) -

In office September 1, 1823 - December 18, 1843

He was the United States Secretary of the Navy, a founding Vice President of the American Bible Society, and a member of the New York State Assembly in 1800. He was appointed to the position of Associate Justice of the United States (US) Supreme Court in 1823. He ran for Governor of New York while still on the bench in 1828, but was unsuccessful in his attempt.

Robert Trimble (November 17, 1776 - August 25, 1828) - In office May 9, 1826 - August 25, 1828

He was an Associate Justice in the Kentucky Court of Appeals and U.S. Attorney for the District of Kentucky. He was appointed by John Quincy Adams to Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1826, filling the seat vacated by Thomas Todd. He served until his sudden death in 1828, caused by a "malignant bilious fever."


John McLean (March 11, 1785 - April 4, 1861) - In office March 7, 1829 - April 4, 1861

He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio's first district and the Sixth United States Postmaster General. Nominated by Andrew Jackson in 1829, McLean became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, filling the seat vacated by Robert Trimble. He was known as "the Politician of the Supreme Court," and filled the seat until his death in 1861.

Henry Baldwin (January 14, 1780 - April 21, 1844) - In office January 6, 1830 - April 21, 1844

He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's Fourteenth District and Deputy State Attorney General of Allegheny County and Crawford County, Pennsylvania. When Bushrod Washington died in 1830, President Andrew Jackson appointed Baldwin to Associate Supreme Court Justice. He served until his death in 1844.

James Moore Wayne (1790 - July 5, 1867) - In office January 9, 1835 - July 5, 1867

He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia and a judge of the Superior Court of Georgia. In 1835, he was appointed by Andrew Jackson and confirmed by the Senate to fill the seat of Associate Supreme Court Justice William Johnson. Wayne remained on the bench until his death thirty-two years later.

Roger B. Taney* (March 17, 1777 - October 12, 1864) - In office March 15, 1836 - October 12, 1864

He was the first Roman Catholic Supreme Court Justice, the Eleventh United States Attorney General, the Twelfth Secretary of the Treasury, a United States Secretary of War (1831), and the Fifth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He was appointed by Jackson in 1836, and remained in the position until his death in 1864.

Philip P. Barbour (May 25, 1783 - February 25, 1841) - In office March 15, 1836 - February 25, 1841

He was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia's Eleventh District and the Twelfth Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was appointed to be Associate Supreme Court Justice in 1836, and remained until his death in 1841, having only served five years.

John Catron (January 7, 1786 - May 30, 1865) - In office March 8, 1837 - May 30, 1865

He was the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court of Errors and Appeals before the Tennessee state legislature abolished that position. When Congress expanded the Supreme Court seats from seven to nine in 1836, President Andrew Jackson appointed Catron to fill the position of Associate Supreme Court Justice. He served until his death in 1865.

John McKinley (May 1, 1780 - July 19, 1852) - In office April 22, 1837 - July 19, 1852

He was a member of the United States House of Representatives and a Senator from the state of Alabama. Along with John Catron, he was appointed by Martin Van Buren to fill the two the two extra Supreme Court seats added by Congress in 1836. He served for fourteen years until his death in 1852.

Peter Vivian Daniel (April 24, 1784 - May 31, 1860) - In office March 3, 1841 - May 31, 1860

He was a member of both the Virginia House of Delegates and the advisory Virginia Privy Council and the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Appointed by Martin Van Buren in 1841 to fill the seat vacated by Philip Pendleton Barbour, Daniel became an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He remained on the bench until his death in 1860.

Samuel Nelson (November 10, 1792 - December 13, 1873) In office February 14, 1845 - November 28, 1872

He was a member of the Electoral College in 1820 and Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court. President John Tyler appointed Nelson in 1845 to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Smith Thompson. He served as a justice for twenty-seven years before retiring in 1872.

Levi Woodbury (December 22, 1789 - September 4, 1851) - In office September 20, 1845 - September 4, 1851

He was the Thirteenth United States Secretary of the Treasury, a United States Senator from New Hampshire, the Ninth United States Secretary of the Navy, and the Fifteenth Governor of New Hampshire. Nominated by James Polk to fill the seat left by Joseph Story, Woodbury remained in the seat until his death in 1851. Along with Salmon P. Chase and James F. Byrnes, he is one of only three people to have served in three governmental branches as well as serving as a United States Governor.


Supreme Court Justice Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase
Salmon P. Chase

Robert C. Grier (1794 - 1870) - In office August 4, 1846 - January 31, 1870

Benjamin R. Curtis (1809 - 1874) - In office September 22, 1851- September 30, 1857

John A. Campbell (1809 - 1874) - In office September 22, 1851 - September 30, 1857

Nathan Clifford (1803 - 1881) - In office October 17, 1846 - March 17, 1848

Noah Haynes Swayne (1804 - 1884) - In office January 24, 1862 - January 24, 1881

Samuel F. Miller (1816 - 1890) - In office July 16, 1862 - October 13, 1890

David Davis (1815 - 1886) - In office

October 17, 1862 - March 4, 1877

Stephen J. Field (1816 - 1899) - In office March 10, 1863- December 1, 1897

Salmon P. Chase* (1808 - 1873) - In office December 15, 1864 - May 7, 1873

William Strong ( 1808 - 1895) - In office February 18, 1870- December 14, 1880


Chief Justices Waite and Fuller
Top: Morrison R. Waite, Bottom: Melville W. Fuller

Joseph P. Bradley (1870-92) - In office March 21, 1870 - January 22, 1892

Ward Hunt (1873-82) - In office December 11, 1872 - January 27, 1882

Morrison R. Waite* (1874-88) - In office March 4, 1874 - March 23, 1888

John M. Harlan (1877-1911) - In office November 29, 1877 - October 14, 1911

William B. Woods (1881-87) - In office December 21, 1880 - May 14, 1887

Stanley Matthews (1881-89) - In office May 12, 1881 - March 22, 1889

Horace Gray (1882-1902) - In office December 20, 1881 - September 15, 1902

Samuel Blatchford (1882-93) - In office March 22, 1882 - July 7, 1893

Lucius Q.C. Lamar (1883-93) - In office January 16, 1888 - January 23, 1893

Melville W. Fuller* (1888-1910) - In office October 8, 1888 - July 4, 1910


Chief Justice Edward D. White
Edward D. White

David J. Brewer (1890-1910) - In office December 18, 1889- March 27, 1910

Henry B. Brown (1891-1906) - In office 29 December 1890 - 28 May 1906

George Shiras, Jr. (1892-1903) - In office July 26, 1892 - February 23, 1903

Howell E. Jackson (1893-95) - In office February 18, 1893 - August 8, 1895

Edward D. White* (1894-1921) - In office December 12, 1910 - May 19, 1921

Rufus W. Peckham (1896-1909)> - In office December 9, 1895 - October 24, 1909

Joseph McKenna (1898-1925) - In office January 21, 1898 - January 5, 1925

Oliver W. Holmes (1902-32) - In office December 4, 1902 - January 12, 1932

William Rufus Day (1903-22) - In office February 23, 1903 - November 13, 1922

William H. Moody (1906-10) - In office December 12, 1906 - November 20, 1910


Chief Justices Hughes and Taft
Top: Charles E. Hughes, Bottom: William H. Taft

Horace H. Lurton (1910-14) - In office December 20, 1909 - July 12, 1914

Charles E. Hughes* (1910-16 and 1930-41) - In office February 13, 1930 - June 30, 1941

Willis Van Devanter (1911-37) - In office December 16, 1910 - June 2, 1937

Joseph R. Lamar (1911-16) - In office December 17, 1910 - January 2, 1916

Mahlon Pitney (1912-22) - In office March 13, 1912 - December 31, 1922

James C. McReynolds (1914-41) - In office August 29, 1914 - January 31, 1941

Louis D. Brandeis (1916-39) - In office June 1, 1916 - February 13, 1939

John H. Clarke (1916-22) - In office July 24, 1916 - September 18, 1922

William H. Taft* (1921-30) - In office July 11, 1921 - February 3, 1930


Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone
Harlan Fiske Stone

George Sutherland (1922-38) - In office September 5, 1922 - January 17, 1938

Pierce Butler (1923-39) - In office December 21, 1922 - November 16, 1939

Edward T. Sanford (1923-30) - In office January 29, 1923 - March 8, 1930

Harlan Fiske Stone* (1925-46) - In office July 3, 1941 - April 22, 1946

Owen J. Roberts (1930-45) - In office May 20, 1930 - July 31, 1945

Benjamin N. Cardozo (1932-38) - In office March 2, 1932 - July 9, 1938

Hugo L. Black (1937-71) - In office August 18, 1937 - September 17, 1971

Stanley F. Reed (1938-57) - In office January 27, 1938 - February 25, 1957

Felix Frankfurter (1939-62) - In office January 20, 1939 - August 28, 1962

William O. Douglas (1939-75) - In office April 15, 1939 - November 12, 1975


Chief Justices Vinson and Warren
Top: Fred M. Vinson, Bottom: Earl Warren

Frank Murphy (1940-49) - In office January 18, 1940 - July 19, 1949

James F. Byrnes (1941-42) - In office July 8, 1941 - October 3, 1942

Robert H. Jackson (1941-54) - In office July 11, 1941 - October 9, 1954

Wiley B. Rutledge (1943-49) - In office February 11, 1943 - September 10, 1949

Harold H. Burton (1945-58) - In office September 22, 1945 - October 13, 1958

Fred M. Vinson* (1946-53) - In office June 21, 1946 - September 8, 1953

Tom C. Clark (1949-67) - In office August 19, 1949 - June 12, 1967

Sherman Minton (1949-56) - In office October 12, 1949 - October 15, 1956

Earl Warren* (1953-69) - In office October 2, 1953 - June 23, 1969

John M. Harlan (1955-71) - In office March 17, 1955 - September 23, 1971


Chief Justice Warren Burger
Warren E. Burger

William J. Brennan, Jr. (1956-90) - In office October 15, 1956 - July 20, 1990

Charles E. Whittaker (1957-62) - In office March 22, 1957 - March 31, 1962

Potter Stewart (1958-81) - In office October 14, 1958 - July 3, 1981

Byron R. White (1962-93) - In office April 16, 1962 - June 28, 1993

Arthur J. Goldberg (1962-65) - In office September 28, 1962 - July 2, 1965

Abe Fortas (1965-69) - In office October 4, 1965 - May 14, 1969

Thurgood Marshall (1967-91) - In office October 2, 1967 - October 1, 1991

Warren E. Burger* (1969-86) - In office June 23, 1969 - September 26, 1986

Harry A. Blackmun (1970-94) - In office June 9, 1970 - August 3, 1994

Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (1972-87) - In office January 7, 1972 - June 26, 1987


Chief Justices Rehnquist and Roberts
Top: William H. Rehnquist, Bottom: John G. Roberts, Jr.

William H. Rehnquist* (1972-2005) - In office September 26, 1986 - September 3, 2005

John Paul Stevens (1975-2010) - In office December 19, 1975 - June 29, 2010

Sandra Day O'Connor (1981-2006) - In office September 21, 1981 - January 31, 2006

Antonin Scalia (1986-2016) - In office September 26, 1986 - February 13, 2016

Anthony M. Kennedy (1988-) - Assumed office February 18, 1988

David Souter (1990-2009) - In office October 9, 1990 - June 29, 2009

Clarence Thomas (1991-) - Assumed office October 23, 1991

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993-) - Assumed office August 10, 1993

Stephen G. Breyer (1994-) - Assumed office August 3, 1994

John G. Roberts, Jr.* (2005-) - Assumed office September 29, 2005

Samuel A. Alito, Jr. (2006-) - Assumed office January 31, 2006

Sonia Sotomayor (2009-) - Assumed office August 8, 2009

Elena Kagan (2010-) - Assumed office August 7, 2010

Neil Gorsuch (2017- ) - Assumed office April 10, 2017



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