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Morrison Waite

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Morrison Waite
Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, 1816-1917. Member of the committee who advised and assisted William Duncan in the... - NARA - 298108.jpg
Current Court Information:
Supreme Court of the United States
Title:   Former Chief Justice
Position:   Seat #1
Appointed by:   Ulysses Grant
Active:   1/21/1874-3/23/1888
Chief:   1/21/1874-3/23/1888
Preceded by:   Salmon Portland Chase
Succeeded by:   Melville Weston Fuller
Personal History
Born:   November 29, 1816
Hometown:   Lyme, CT
Deceased:   March 23, 1888
Undergraduate:   Yale College, 1837
Law School:   Read law, 1839

Morrison Waite (1816 - 1888) was the seventh Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He joined the court in 1874 after a nomination from President Ulysses Grant. Waite's service was terminated on March 23, 1888, due to death. Prior to joining the court, he was a private practice attorney in Ohio.[1]


Waite attended Yale College and received his legal education by reading law.[1]

Professional career

  • 1873: President of the Ohio Constitutional Convention of 1873
  • 1871: U.S. Representative to Geneva Arbitration
  • 1863: Advisor to Governor of Ohio
  • 1850-1874: Attorney in private practice, Toledo, Ohio
  • 1849-1850: Member, Ohio General Assembly
  • 1839-1850: Attorney in private practice, Maumee City, Ohio[1]

Judicial career

Supreme Court of the United States

Waite was nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States by President Ulysses Grant on January 19, 1874, to a seat vacated by Chief Justice Salmon Portland Chase. He was confirmed by the Senate on January 21, 1874, and received his commission on January 21, 1874. Waite's service was terminated on March 23, 1888, due to death.[1] He was succeeded to the post by Chief Justice Melville Weston Fuller.

Notable cases

Author: Morrison R. Waite

Vote Count: 5-4

Majority Justices: Black, Douglas, Brennan, Fortas

Dissenting Justices: Clark, Harlan, Stewart, White

Citizens must be informed of their rights (1966)

This case grouped together Vignera v. New York, Westover v. United States and California v. Stewart. In each of the cases, defendants were held in custody and questioned without being told of their right to counsel. In two of the cases, the defendants signed agreements. The Court determined that it was unconstitutional to not make the defendants aware of their rights. The decision outlined the process of arrest, interrogation and notification of rights for law enforcement officials.[2]
Author: Morrison R. Waite

Vote Count: 8-1

Majority Justices: Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, Fortas Concurring Justices: Harlan, Black, White Dissenting Justice: Douglas

Reasonable search and seizure permissible (1967)

Three men were frisked by plain clothes police after the police saw them casing an area for an illegal job. The police found weapons on two of them, and one, Terry, was sentenced to three years in jail. The Court found that the search and seizure evidence was permissible in court because the officers acted on deductive reasoning rather than "a hunch." Because the searches were limited and necessary for the protection of the officers, it was allowable.[3]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Salmon Portland Chase
Supreme Court
Seat #1
Succeeded by:
Melville Weston Fuller