Robert Morris (judge)

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Robert Morris
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
In office
August 16, 1790 – June 2, 1815
Appointed by George Washington
Preceded by David Brearley
Succeeded by William Sanford Pennington
Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court
In office
February 5, 1777 – May 25, 1779 Resigned
Governor William Livingston
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by David Brearley
Personal details
Born 1745
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Died June 2, 1815
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Resting place Christ Church Cemetery, New Brunswick
Nationality American
Relations Robert Hunter Morris, Lewis Morris
Profession Lawyer
Religion Episcopalian

Robert Morris (1745 – June 2, 1815) was a New Jersey attorney and judge, serving in both state and federal courts.

Career[edit]

A son of New Jersey Chief Justice Robert Hunter Morris, and grandson of former Governor Lewis Morris, Robert Morris was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and read law to enter the Bar in 1770. He engaged in private practice in New Brunswick through 1776.[1]

On September 6, 1776, by Joint Meeting of the New Jersey Legislature, Morris was appointed Clerk of Bergen County.[2] On February 5, 1777, the Legislature named him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the office once held by his father.[3] On November 6, 1778 Morris resigned as Bergen County Clerk.[4] He continued to serve as Chief Justice until his resignation from that office on May 25, 1779.[5] He thereafter returned to private practice until 1790.

Morris received a recess appointment from President George Washington on August 28, 1790 to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey vacated by the death of David Brearley. Morris was formally nominated to the seat on December 17, 1790, and three days later he was confirmed by the United States Senate and received his commission. When the District of New Jersey was divided into the Eastern District of New Jersey and the Western District of New Jersey on February 13, 1801, Morris was reassigned by operation of law to both of the newly created districts. The two districts were re-consolidated into a single court on July 1, 1802, and Morris was again reassigned by operation of law to his original appointment. He served until his death, in New Brunswick.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert Morris at Biographical Directory of Federal Judges
  2. ^ Minutes and Proceedings of the Council and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey in Joint-Meeting from August 30, 1776 to May 1780; Isaac Collins, Printer to the State; Trenton, 1780; p 6
  3. ^ Minutes and Proceedings of the Council and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey in Joint-Meeting from August 30, 1776 to May 1780; Isaac Collins, Printer to the State; Trenton, 1780; p 13
  4. ^ Minutes and Proceedings of the Council and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey in Joint-Meeting from August 30, 1776 to May 1780; Isaac Collins, Printer to the State; Trenton, 1780; p 29
  5. ^ Minutes and Proceedings of the Council and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey in Joint-Meeting from August 30, 1776 to May 1780; Isaac Collins, Printer to the State; Trenton, 1780; p 30

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
David Brearley
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
August 28, 1790 – June 2, 1815
Succeeded by
William Sanford Pennington