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Melville Weston Fuller

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Melville Weston Fuller
Current Court Information:
Supreme Court of the United States
Title:   Former Chief Justice
Position:   Seat #1
Appointed by:   Grover Cleveland
Active:   7/20/1888-7/4/1910
Preceded by:   Morrison Waite
Succeeded by:   Edward Douglass White
Personal History
Born:   February 11, 1833
Hometown:   Augusta, ME
Deceased:   July 4, 1910
Undergraduate:   Bowdoin College, 1853
Law School:   Read law
Grad. School:   Bowdoin College, 1856

Melville Fuller (1833-1910) served as the Supreme Court's eighth Chief Justice.[1] He joined the court in 1888 after a nomination from Grover Cleveland and confirmation by the Senate. At the time of nomination, he was a private practice attorney in Chicago, IL. He served until his death on July 4, 1910.[1]

Early life and education

  • Read law
  • Bowdoin College, A.B., 1853
  • Bowdoin College, A.M., 1856[1]

Professional career

  • 1856-1888: Private practice, Chicago, Illinois
  • 1863-1865: Illinois state representative
  • 1862: Delegate, Illinois Constitutional Convention
  • 1855-1856: Private practice, Augusta, Maine
  • 1855-1856: Editor, Augusta Age
  • 1856: President, Common Council of Augusta, Maine
  • 1856: City solicitor, Augusta, Maine[1]

Judicial career

Supreme Court of the United States

Fuller was nominated by President Grover Cleveland on April 30, 1888. He was confirmed by the Senate on July 20, 1888, and received commission that same day. He served until his death on July 4, 1910.[1] He was succeeded to this post by Edward Douglass White.

Notable cases

Author: Melville Fuller

Concurring Justices: Field

Dissenting Justices: White and Harlan

National income tax is unconstitutional (1895)

In 1894, Congress passed the national income tax. The unconstitutionality of the tax was soon determined by the Supreme Court, which found that while states have the authority to impose taxes, the federal government could only impose taxes according to a state's representation in Congress. It would not be until 1913, with the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, that a federal income tax would be constitutional.[2]
Author: Melville Fuller

Vote Count: 8-1

Majority Justices: Field, Gray, Brewer, Brown, Shiras, Jr., Jackson, White

Dissenting Justice: Harlan

Manufacturing is not affected by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1895)

In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which outlawed monopolies in transportation, industry and commerce. The question before the Supreme Court was if this Act was unconstitutional because of the Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court determined that although it was constitutional, the law did not apply to manufacturing. In the specific case of the E.C. Knight Company, the monopoly was a result of interstate commerce and, therefore, was not affected by the trust.[3]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Morrison Waite
Supreme Court
Seat #1
Succeeded by:
Edward Douglass White