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Supreme Court Justices

James Wayne (1790-1867)

James Wayne was born in 1790 in Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) in 1808, and returned to Savannah and began a legal apprenticeship. Wayne served as both a judge and legislator in Georgia, as well as mayor of Savannah. In 1829, Wayne became a Congressman where he opposed John C. Calhoun's theory of nullification. In early January 1835, Wayne was nominated to the seat vacated by the death of South Carolinian William Johnson. Wayne served on the Court from his confirmation on January 14, 1835 to his death 32 years later.

Wayne supported the rights of slaveowners and was a slaveholder himself. He was the only Justice to join Chief Justice Taney's opinion in Dred Scott. Despite such sympathies, Wayne was a Unionist who was declared a traitor to the South. Wayne beli8eved in the exclusivity of federal power to regulate interstate commerce. Although he spent 32 years on the Court, his influence was, at most, modest. 

He died on July 7, 1867.

Further reading: Alexander A. Lawrence, James Moore Wayne, Southern Unionist (1943).