Melville W. Fuller (February 11, 1833 - July 4, 1910)

Melville Weston Fuller was the Chief Justice of the United States between 1888 and 1910.

Melville W. FullerFuller was born in Augusta, Maine. Both his maternal grandfather, Nathan Weston and paternal grandfather, Henry Weld Fuller were judges. His father was a well-known lawyer. His parents divorced shortly after his birth, and he was raised by Nathan Weston. He attended college at Harvard University for one year before graduating from Bowdoin College in 1853. He then spent six months at Harvard Law School, leaving without graduating in 1855.

President Grover Cleveland nominated him for the Chief Justice position when Morrison Waite died in 1888. Fuller was not the first man to be mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee; the former ambassador to Great Britain, Edward J. Phelps, was perceived as the front-runner for the nomination. Fuller's nomination was tepidly received in the Senate. However, he was eventually confirmed by a vote of 41 to 20, with nine Republicans voting with the Democrats to confirm him.

As Chief Justice, he administered the oath of office to five Presidents: Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.¹

Melville W. Fuller Quotes

"Every sovereign State is bound to respect the independence of every other sovereign State, and the courts of one country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government of another done within its own territory."

"The country demands a return to the principles and practices of the fathers of the Republic in this the hundredth year of its existence, and the restoration of a wise and frugal government, that shall leave to every man the freest pursuit of his avocation or his pleasures, consistent with the rights of his neighbors, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."

"If the provisions of the constitution can be set aside by an act of congress, where is the course of usurpation to end?"

Noteworthy Sites

¹ Melville W. Fuller - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Books on Melville W. Fuller
Books on The Supreme Court
All Supreme Court Posters & Prints
Melville W. Fuller Biographical Profile
The Melville W. Fuller Court

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