Wallace McCamant

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Wallace McCamant
Wallace McCamant, G. G. Bain photo portrait.jpg
Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
In office
May 25, 1925 – May 2, 1926
Appointed by Calvin Coolidge
Preceded by Erskine M. Ross
Succeeded by Frank Sigel Dietrich
17th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
Appointed by James Withycombe
Preceded by Robert Eakin
Succeeded by Charles A. Johns
Personal details
Born September 22, 1867
Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania
Died December 17, 1944(1944-12-17) (aged 77)
Portland, Oregon
Spouse(s) Katherine S. Davis

Wallace McCamant (September 22, 1867 – December 17, 1944) was an American jurist in Oregon. A Pennsylvania native, he served as the 46th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court from 1917 to 1918. Later he served briefly on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. As a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1920, McCamant surprised the GOP leadership by placing the name of Calvin Coolidge into nomination for Vice-President.[1] Coolidge would become the 30th President of the United States upon the death of President Harding in 1923.

Early life[edit]

Born on September 22, 1867 in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, McCamant was the son of Thomas McCamant and the former Delia Robbins.[2] He grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and attended the public schools in that town.[2] In 1888 he graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania with a Ph.B. degree.[3]

Wallace then read law and in 1890 was admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania and subsequently moved to Oregon.[2] He then entered private practice in Portland, Oregon.[3] In 1893 he married Katherine S. Davis, and they had two sons.[2] McCamant became a Master in Chancery for the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, in 1904 serving until 1917.[3] In 1909, he was president of the Portland chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.[4] He would serve as the President General of the Sons of the American Revolution from 1921 until 1922.[5] During his private legal career McCamant appeared before the United States Supreme Court in Ross v. State of Oregon, 227 US 150 (1913).

Judicial career[edit]

Then on January 8, 1917, McCamant was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court to replace Robert Eakin by Oregon Governor James Withycombe.[6][7] Eighteen months later, McCamant resigned on June 4, 1918 and was replaced by Charles A. Johns.[6]

In May 1925, President Coolidge appointed McCamant to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals while the Senate was in recess. However, when the Senate reconvened he was not confirmed and his time on the federal bench ended in May 1926. The lack of confirmation is partly due to McCamant’s support for Coolidge over Senator Hiram Johnson at the 1920 Republican Convention to select the Vice-Presidential nominee from the party. McCamant had been the delegate who first moved for the nomination of Coolidge after the Republican leadership had moved for and seconded Senator Irvine Lenroot of Wisconsin, which resulted in Coolidge's ascension to the Presidency upon Warren G. Harding's death.[8] With the Senate not confirming McCamant, he became the first recess appointment to a United States Court of Appeals not to be confirmed by the United States Senate.[9]

Later life[edit]

In 1922, he dedicated the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider statue in Portland's South Park Blocks.[10] On December 17, 1944, Wallace McCamant died and was buried at River View Cemetery in Portland.[11]


  1. ^ Sol Barzman, Madmen and Geniuses, pp.198-99
  2. ^ a b c d Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  3. ^ a b c Wallace McCamant. Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved January 11, 2008.
  4. ^ Sons of the American Revolution: Portland, Oregon. 1909 Oregon Blue Book. Retrieved January 11, 2008.
  5. ^ http://www.sar.org/NSSAR-Presidents-General
  6. ^ a b Oregon Blue Book: Supreme Court Justices of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved January 11, 2008.
  7. ^ Oregon Blue Book: Oregon Governors. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved January 11, 2008.
  8. ^ Unexpected. Time, February 8, 1926.
  9. ^ Bashman, Howard J. Test Your Knowledge Of Federal Judicial Recess Appointment Trivia. Howard J. Bashman. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
  10. ^ Monumental Works. A. Phimister Proctor Museum. Retrieved on January 11, 2008.
  11. ^ American Bar Association in Oregon Politician members. The Political Graveyard. Retrieved on January 11, 2008.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Erskine Mayo Ross
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Succeeded by
Frank Sigel Dietrich