List of federal judges appointed by John Adams
Following is a list of federal judges appointed by John Adams. In total, John Adams appointed 23 United States federal judges during his tenure (1797-1801) as President of the United States. Of these, three were appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States, sixteen were to the United States circuit courts, and four to the United States district courts. Fourteen of the sixteen circuit court judges appointed by Adams were to positions created at the end of his tenure in office, in the Judiciary Act of 1801, 2 Stat. 89, which became known as the Midnight Judges Act. All of these offices were abolished by the repeal of this Act on July 1, 1802, by 2 Stat. 132. The remaining two were to judgeships for the District of Columbia, authorized under a different Act of Congress, not the Judiciary Act.
Nonetheless, Adams made an indelible impact on the federal judiciary with the appointment of John Marshall as Chief Justice to succeed Oliver Ellsworth, who had retired due to ill health. Adams himself called this appointment "the proudest act of my life."
United States Supreme Court Justices
|Marshall, JohnJohn Marshall||Chief Justice||Virginia||January 31, 1801||July 6, 1835|
|Moore, AlfredAlfred Moore||Seat 5||North Carolina||December 10, 1799||January 26, 1804|
|Washington, BushrodBushrod Washington||Seat 1||Virginia||September 29, 1798[Note 1]||November 26, 1829|
Also appointed, but declined: John Jay (Chief Justice).
|Bassett, RichardRichard Bassett||Third||February 20, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Benson, EgbertEgbert Benson||Second||February 20, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Bourne, BenjaminBenjamin Bourne||First||February 20, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Clay, Jr., JosephJoseph Clay, Jr.||Fifth||February 24, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Cranch, WilliamWilliam Cranch||D.C.||March 3, 1801||February 24, 1806[Note 2]|
|Griffith, WilliamWilliam Griffith||Third||February 20, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Hitchcock, SamuelSamuel Hitchcock||Second||February 20, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Key, Philip BartonPhilip Barton Key||Fourth||February 20, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Lowell, JohnJohn Lowell||First||February 20, 1801||May 6, 1802|
|Magill, CharlesCharles Magill||Fourth||March 3, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Marshall, James MarkhamJames Markham Marshall||D.C.||March 3, 1801||November 16, 1803|
|McClung, WilliamWilliam McClung||Sixth||February 24, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Smith, JeremiahJeremiah Smith||First||February 20, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Taylor, George KeithGeorge Keith Taylor||Fourth||February 20, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Tilghman, WilliamWilliam Tilghman||Third||March 3, 1801||March 8, 1802|
|Wolcott, Jr., OliverOliver Wolcott, Jr.||Second||February 20, 1801||July 1, 1802|
|Davis, JohnJohn Davis||D. Mass.||February 20, 1801||July 10, 1841|
|Hobart, John SlossJohn Sloss Hobart||D.N.Y.||April 12, 1798||February 4, 1805|
|Paine, ElijahElijah Paine||D. Vt.||March 3, 1801||April 1, 1842|
|Winchester, JamesJames Winchester||D. Md.||October 31, 1799[Note 4]||April 5, 1806|
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 19, 1798, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 20, 1798, and received commission on December 20, 1798.
- Elevated to Chief Judges by Thomas Jefferson on February 24, 1806; thereafter served until September 1, 1855. Because of the unique structure of the United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, Thomas Jefferson's elevation of William Cranch to chief judge of the Court is considered a separate appointment.
- See List of United States district and territorial courts
- Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 8, 1799, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 10, 1799, and received commission on December 10, 1799.
- Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, passim.
- Unger, Harlow Giles (November 16, 2014). "Why Naming John Marshall Chief Justice Was John Adams's "Greatest Gift" to the Nation". History News Network. Retrieved February 8, 2017.