Mahlon Pitney

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Mahlon Pitney
Mahlon Pitney cph.3b30300.jpg
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
In office
March 13, 1912[1] – December 31, 1922
Nominated by William Howard Taft
Preceded by John Marshall Harlan
Succeeded by Edward Terry Sanford
New Jersey's 4th congressional district
In office
March 4, 1895 – January 10, 1899
Preceded by Johnston Cornish
Succeeded by Joshua S. Salmon
Personal details
Born February 5, 1858
Morristown, New Jersey
Died December 9, 1924(1924-12-09) (aged 66)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Florence Theodora Shelton[2]
Religion Presbyterian

Mahlon Pitney (February 5, 1858 – December 9, 1924) was an American jurist and Republican Party politician from New Jersey, who served in the United States Congress and as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Life and career[edit]

Pitney was born in Morristown, New Jersey, the son of Sarah Louise (née Halsted) and Henry Cooper Pitney. Pitney was a graduate of Princeton College. Pitney served two terms in Congress as a Representative from New Jersey from the 4th congressional district, and also served in the state senate and on the New Jersey Supreme Court. He was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President William Howard Taft in 1912, and resigned in 1922 after suffering a stroke. He was one of only two Supreme Court Justices nominated by President Taft who also later served during Taft's tenure as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Pitney died in 1924 in Washington, D.C., and was interred at Evergreen Cemetery, in Morristown, New Jersey.

With his wife Florence Theodora Shelton, Pitney was the great-grandfather of actor Christopher Reeve.[3]

When asked which twentieth-century Supreme Court justice "has done the most to protect the core Constitutional values," Richard Epstein cited Justice Pitney, calling him "a great justice" and "the only consistent near-libertarian on the Supreme Court." [4]


External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Johnston Cornish
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1895 – January 10, 1899
Succeeded by
Joshua S. Salmon
Political offices
Preceded by
William M. Johnson
President of the New Jersey Senate
Succeeded by
C. Asa Francis
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Marshall Harlan
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
March 13, 1912 – December 31, 1922
Succeeded by
Edward Terry Sanford