List of federal judges appointed by George Washington

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
President George Washington appointed 10 justices to the Supreme Court and 28 judges to United States district courts.
John Rutledge was appointed to two non-consecutive terms on the Supreme Court by Washington.

President George Washington appointed 38 United States federal judges during his presidency,[1] which lasted from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. The first group of Washington's appointments—two justices of the Supreme Court of the United States and ten district court judges—began service two days after Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789 to formally establish the federal judiciary.[2] Washington's last court appointee received his commission 12 days before the end of Washington's presidency.

As the first President, Washington was responsible for appointing the entire Supreme Court; he appointed a record ten Justices, including two Chief Justices who were confirmed from outside the Court and one former Justice named as Chief Justice by a recess appointment, but not ultimately confirmed to the position. Additionally, Washington nominated Robert H. Harrison, who declined to serve,[3][4] and nominated William Cushing for elevation to Chief Justice,[5] who likewise declined.[Note 1] Since there were no sitting justices at the beginning of Washington's term, he had the unique opportunity to fill the entire body of federal judges with his selections. Despite this, Washington appointed only 28 judges to the United States district courts, due to the smaller size of the judiciary; at the time, there were far fewer states, most states had a single district court, and each district had a single judge assigned to it. Because intermediate federal appellate courts had not yet been established, this, combined with the Supreme Court appointments, constituted the total number of federal judicial appointments made by Washington.[1] The number is roughly 10% of the record 376 judges appointed by Ronald Reagan from 1980 to 1988, when the judiciary was much larger,[Note 2] and less than 5% of the number of active federal judges serving as of July 2010.[Note 3]

United States Supreme Court Justices[edit]

Justice Seat State Began active
service
Ended active
service
Blair, Jr., JohnJohn Blair, Jr. Seat 3 Virginia September 30, 1789 October 25, 1795
Chase, SamuelSamuel Chase Seat 3 Maryland January 27, 1796 June 19, 1811
Cushing, WilliamWilliam Cushing Seat 2 Massachusetts September 26, 1789 September 13, 1810
Ellsworth, OliverOliver Ellsworth Chief Justice Connecticut March 4, 1796 September 30, 1800
Iredell, JamesJames Iredell Seat 5 North Carolina February 10, 1790 October 20, 1799
Jay, JohnJohn Jay Chief Justice New York October 19, 1789 June 29, 1795
Johnson, ThomasThomas Johnson Seat 4 Maryland August 5, 1791[Note 4] January 16, 1793
Paterson, WilliamWilliam Paterson Seat 4 New Jersey March 4, 1793[Note 5] September 9, 1806
Rutledge, JohnJohn Rutledge Seat 4 South Carolina September 26, 1789 March 4, 1791
Rutledge, JohnJohn Rutledge Chief Justice South Carolina June 30, 1795[Note 6] December 28, 1795
Wilson, JamesJames Wilson Seat 1 Pennsylvania September 26, 1789 August 28, 1798

District courts[edit]

Washington appointed federal judges to 17 United States District Courts. Of these, 16 are pictured in the map above, while the 17th, the District of Tennessee, was created shortly before the end of his administration.
Richard Peters, Jr. served for over 36 years, the longest of Washington's appointments.
Judge Court
[Note 7]
Began active
service
Ended active
service
Bedford, Jr., GunningGunning Bedford, Jr. D. Del. September 26, 1789 March 30, 1812
Bee, ThomasThomas Bee D.S.C. June 14, 1790 February 18, 1812
Bourne, BenjaminBenjamin Bourne D.R.I. October 13, 1796[Note 8] February 20, 1801
Brearley, DavidDavid Brearley D.N.J. September 26, 1789 August 16, 1790
Chipman, NathanielNathaniel Chipman D. Vt. March 4, 1791 January 1, 1793
Clay, Jr., JosephJoseph Clay, Jr. D. Ga. September 16, 1796[Note 9] February 24, 1801
Drayton, Sr., WilliamWilliam Drayton, Sr. D.S.C. November 18, 1789[Note 10] May 18, 1790
Duane, JamesJames Duane D.N.Y. September 26, 1789 March 17, 1794
Griffin, CyrusCyrus Griffin D. Va. November 28, 1789[Note 10] December 14, 1810
Hitchcock, SamuelSamuel Hitchcock D. Vt. September 3, 1793[Note 11] February 20, 1801
Hopkinson, FrancisFrancis Hopkinson D. Pa. September 26, 1789 May 9, 1791
Innes, HarryHarry Innes D. Ky. September 26, 1789 September 20, 1816
Laurance, JohnJohn Laurance D.N.Y. May 6, 1794 November 8, 1796
Law, RichardRichard Law D. Conn. September 26, 1789 January 26, 1806
Lewis, WilliamWilliam Lewis D. Pa. July 14, 1791[Note 4] January 4, 1792
Lowell, JohnJohn Lowell D. Mass. September 26, 1789 February 20, 1801
Marchant, HenryHenry Marchant D.R.I. July 3, 1790 August 30, 1796
McNairy, JohnJohn McNairy D. Tenn. February 20, 1797 September 1, 1833[Note 12]
Morris, RobertRobert Morris D.N.J. August 28, 1790[Note 13] June 2, 1815[Note 14]
Paca, WilliamWilliam Paca D. Md. December 22, 1789[Note 15] October 13, 1799
Pendleton, NathanielNathaniel Pendleton D. Ga. September 26, 1789 September 1, 1796
Peters, RichardRichard Peters D. Pa. January 12, 1792 August 22, 1828[Note 16]
Pickering, JohnJohn Pickering D.N.H. February 11, 1795 March 12, 1804
Sewall, DavidDavid Sewall D. Me. September 26, 1789 January 9, 1818
Sitgreaves, JohnJohn Sitgreaves D.N.C. December 20, 1790 March 4, 1802[Note 17]
Stokes, JohnJohn Stokes D.N.C. August 3, 1790 October 12, 1790
Sullivan, JohnJohn Sullivan D.N.H. September 26, 1789 January 23, 1795
Troup, RobertRobert Troup D.N.Y. December 10, 1796 April 4, 1798

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some documents claim that he accepted the appointment and immediately resigned.[6]
  2. ^ The Biographical Directory of Federal Judges lists 358 judges appointed by president Reagan, with reappointments and elevations bringing the number to 376.
  3. ^ The Biographical Directory of Federal Judges lists close to 800 judges in active status, with nearly to 500 more in senior status.
  4. ^ a b Recess appointment; formally nominated on October 31, 1791, confirmed by the United States Senate on November 7, 1791, and received commission on November 7, 1791.
  5. ^ Paterson was initially nominated on February 27, 1793, but the nomination was immediately withdrawn by the President for technical reasons, the message being received by the Senate on Feb 28, 1793. Paterson was successfully renominated four days later.[7]
  6. ^ Unusually, Rutledge served two different terms on the Supreme Court. He was first appointed as an Associate Justice in 1789, resigning from that position in 1791. He was made Chief Justice by a recess appointment in 1791, and formally nominated on December 10, 1795. His nomination was thereafter rejected by Congress in December 1791, and he resigned.
  7. ^ For the usage of court abbreviations, see List of United States district and territorial courts
  8. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 21, 1796, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 22, 1796, and received commission on December 22, 1796.
  9. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 21, 1796, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 27, 1796, and received commission on January 2, 1797.
  10. ^ a b Recess appointment; formally nominated on February 8, 1790, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 10, 1790, and received commission on February 10, 1790.
  11. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 27, 1793, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 30, 1793, and received commission on January 28, 1794.
  12. ^ On April 29, 1802, the District of Tennessee was subdivided into the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee; McNairy was assigned to both districts by operation of law, and continued to be the sole federal judge serving the state of Tennessee until his resignation.[8]
  13. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 17, 1790, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 20, 1790, and received commission on December 20, 1790.
  14. ^ On February 13, 1801, the District of New Jersey was subdivided into the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the Western District of New Jersey. Morris was reassigned to be the sole judge for both courts by operation of law. The Districts were reunited on July 1, 1802, and Morris was again reassigned by operation of law to be the sole judge for the reconstituted District of New Jersey.[9]
  15. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on February 8, 1790, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 10, 1790, and received commission on February 10, 1790.
  16. ^ On April 20, 1818, the District of Pennsylvania was subdivided into the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania; Peters was assigned by operation of law to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and continued in that office until his death.[10]
  17. ^ On June 9, 1794, the District of North Carolina was subdivided into the Edenton, New Bern, and Wilmington Districts of North Carolina; on March 3, 1797, the single District of North Carolina was reconstituted; and on February 13, 1801, the District was subdivided into the Albemarle, Cape Fear, and Pamptico Districts of North Carolina. In each instance, Sitgreaves was reassigned by operation of law to serve as the sole federal judge for the subdivided or reconstituted District, and he remained the sole federal judge serving the state of North Carolina until his death.[11]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, passim.
  2. ^ "The Judiciary Act of 1789". U.S. Congress. September 24, 1789. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  3. ^ Washington, George (September 28, 1789). "To Robert Hanson Harrison". Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources. Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  4. ^ Washington, George (November 25, 1789). "To Robert Hanson Harrison". Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources. Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  5. ^ Marcus & Perry, p. 103.
  6. ^ Marcus & Perry, p. 120.
  7. ^ Marcus & Perry, p. 89-90.
  8. ^ Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, U.S. District Courts of Tennessee
  9. ^ Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, U.S. District Courts of New Jersey
  10. ^ Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, U.S. District Courts of Pennsylvania
  11. ^ Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, U.S. District Courts of North Carolina