John McKinley

Media Items
Personal Information
Born 
Monday, May 1, 1780
Died 
Monday, July 19, 1852
Childhood Location 
Virginia
Childhood Surroundings 
Virginia
Position 
Associate Justice
Seat 
9
Nominated By 
Van Buren
Commissioned on 
Monday, September 25, 1837
Sworn In 
Tuesday, January 9, 1838
Left Office 
Monday, July 19, 1852
Reason For Leaving 
Death
Length of Service 
14 years, 6 months, 10 days
Home 
Alabama
John McKinley
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: Matthew Harris Jouett)
Biography 

John McKinley, the son of a physician, was born in Virginia and raised in Kentucky. He read law and practiced in Kentucky before moving to Alabama where he was soon drawn to politics rather than law. McKinley was elected to two non-consecutive terms in the U. S. Senate, but he never served the second time. Van Buren chose McKinley to fill one of two newly created seats that enlarged the Court from 7 to 9 members.

McKinley's 15 years on the Court were unproductive. In all, he wrote only twenty opinions, and none touched constitutional matters. He dissented at the same frequency but his was a solo voice, never managing to attract others to his views.

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Cite this Page
John McKinley. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 04 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/john_mckinley>.
John McKinley, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/john_mckinley (last visited April 4, 2014).
"John McKinley," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 4, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/justices/john_mckinley.