Supreme Court History Quizzes

Trivia Quiz;  Go West!

Like so many Americans, particularly in the nineteenth century, Supreme Court Justices from the East moved West.  Identify these relocated Easterners.

1.  This Justice moved from Kentucky to Iowa because he wanted to live in a free state after concerted efforts to abolish slavery in Kentucky failed.

2.  This Justice, born in Philadelphia, went at a young age with his parents to settle in California.  En route, he crossed Panama by rail before the construction of the canal.

3.  This Justice was born in Maine, where his grandfather sat on the state Supreme Court.  But he made his legal reputation in Illinois, as a specialist in appellate court litigation.

4.  This Justice, a native of Indiana, was for a time Chief Justice of Wyoming.

5.  After retiring from the Supreme Court, this Justice moved to San Diego, where he lived for more than twenty years.

6.  This Justice, born in Connecticut, wrote Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California.

7.  This Justice, a New Hampshire native, became both Governor and Senator in Ohio.

8.  This Justice, scion of a distinguished New England family, was both a state and federal judge in Kansas.

9.  This Justice was born in Kentucky, but as an adult lived in New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri and Iowa.

10.  This Justice reversed the rule. Born in California, he was a lawyer and judge in Washington, D.C. and Boston before joining the Supreme Court.

Trivia Answers:

1. Samuel F. Miller abandoned his practice in Barbourville, Kentucky, to move to Keokuk, Iowa, in 1850.

2. Justice McKenna moved to California in 1854, when he was nine years old.

3. Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller settled in Chicago in 1856 and practiced law there before his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1888.

4. Willis Van Devanter was appointed Chief Justice of the Wyoming Territory.  When Wyoming became a state in 1890, Van Devanter was elected to the State Supreme Court, but resigned shortly after to resume his political career.

5. John H. Clarke was appointed to the Court by Woodrow Wilson in 1916, but resigned in 1922 and then lived in Califonria until his death in 1945.

6. Stephen J. Field’s book is a classic of Californiana, privately printed in 1893.

7. Salmon P. Chase, born in Cornish, New Hampshire, was also Secretary of the Treasury in Lincoln’s cabinet before his appointment as Chief Justice in 1864.

8. David J. Brewer really came West.  He was born in what is now Turkey, where his father was a missionary.  After a childhood in New England, he settled in Kansas at the age of 22.

9.  Wiley Rutledge was the peripatetic Justice whose academic career accounted for many of his moves.  Although born in the East, he is buried in Boulder, Colorado — the most Western place of interment of any Justice.

10. Justice Stephen G. Breyer is the Justice who reversed the trend, moving from West to East. Born in California in 1938, Breyer came East to teach at Harvard, to hold various govermment posts, to sit on the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and ultimately to sit on the Supreme Court.

So how did you do?