Horace Gray

Media Items
Personal Information
Born 
Monday, March 24, 1828
Died 
Monday, September 15, 1902
Childhood Location 
Massachusetts
Childhood Surroundings 
Massachusetts
Position 
Associate Justice
Seat 
3
Nominated By 
Arthur
Commissioned on 
Tuesday, December 20, 1881
Sworn In 
Monday, January 9, 1882
Left Office 
Monday, September 15, 1902
Reason For Leaving 
Death
Length of Service 
20 years, 8 months, 6 days
Home 
Massachusetts
Horace Gray
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: C. Gregory Stapko)
Biography 

Horace Gray was born and raised in Massachusetts. He traveled abroad following his graduation from Harvard College. He had to cut short his travels when the family business experienced serious reversals. Gray studied at Harvard Law School, read law, and clerked at a law firm prior to his entering the bar.

At the age of 36, Gray was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, the youngest appointee in its history. He quickly rose to the position of chief justice as older justices died or resigned.

During his 17 years on the Massachusetts court, Gray dissented only once and none of his decisions was overruled. He had the foresight while chief justice to hire a bright Harvard Law School student as his clerk, Louis D. Brandeis.

Gray was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Chester A. Arthur; Grays' nomination was confirmed by the Senate the following day.

Gray held to the view that law and politics were completely separate domains. HIs opinions were steeped in legal history and they lacked any appeal to public policy. Gray will best be remembered as the justice who changed his vote on the validity of the income tax. See Pollack v. Farmer's Loan & Trust Co., 157 U.S. 429 and 158 U.S. 601 (1895).

Clerkships 
Clerk Law School Terms Clerked
Robert Romans Harvard
Roland Gray Harvard
John Gorham Palfrey Harvard
Langdon Parker Marvin Harvard

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Cite this Page
Horace Gray. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 01 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/horace_gray?page=1>.
Horace Gray, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/horace_gray?page=1 (last visited September 1, 2014).
"Horace Gray," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 1, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/justices/horace_gray?page=1.