James Wilson Supreme Court Justice Served October 5, 1789– August 21, 1798

By Betsy Thorpe


Supreme Court Justice James Wilson
Served October 5, 1789– August 21, 1798

On October 5, 1789 James Wilson took the judicial oath of office. He was the first of the original six justices to be appointed by George Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States. Wilson was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a member of the Continental Congress, and a major force in the framing of the United States Constitution. He was also a Brigadier General of the State Militia and during the war he worked with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to write definition of treason for the emerging nation. In 1787 a delegate in the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia wrote of James Wilson stating that, “Government seems to have been his peculiar study, all the political institutions of the world he knows in detail, and can trace the causes and effects of every revolution from the earliest stages of the Grecian commonwealth down to the present time.”


Judge Sonia Sotomayor

This week, President Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Court of Appeals to replace Justice David Souter. On May 30th the president said, “After reviewing many terrific candidates, I am certain that she is the right choice. In fact, there has not been a nominee in several generations who has brought the depth of judicial experience to this job that she offers”. If the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed by congress she will be the 111th judge to take the judicial oath of office and the first Supreme Court Justice to be appointed by President Barack Obama.

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