James M. Wayne

Media Items
Personal Information
Friday, January 1, 1790
Friday, July 5, 1867
Childhood Location 
Childhood Surroundings 
Associate Justice
Nominated By 
Commissioned on 
Friday, January 9, 1835
Sworn In 
Wednesday, January 14, 1835
Left Office 
Friday, July 5, 1867
Reason For Leaving 
Length of Service 
32 years, 5 months, 22 days
James M. Wayne
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: John Maier)

James Wayne was raised on the family rice plantation near Savannah, Georgia. He was a gifted child and entered Princeton at fourteen. He read law for two years following his graduation in 1808. He entered legal practice in 1810.

Wayne was a state legislator and a state judge. He served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives where he gave strong support to the Jackson administration. Jackson appointed him to the Court in 1835.

Wayne was committed to the preservation of the Union. He remained on the bench through the Civil War which earned him the contempt of his fellow Georgians. Wayne opposed the punitiveness of Reconstruction. He refused to ride circuit in states under military rule after the War.

Wayne served more than 30 years on the Court but had little to show for his longeveity. He was diligent, useful and conscientious in the judgment of his biographer, but Wayne lacked judicial craftsmanship.

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James M. Wayne. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/james_m_wayne>.
James M. Wayne, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/james_m_wayne (last visited August 25, 2015).
"James M. Wayne," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/justices/james_m_wayne.