The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: Robert Hinckley (after John Trumbull))
John Rutledge of South Carolina was a leader in the colony's move to rebellion and later a key political leader. He chaired his state's delegation to the Constitutional Convention in Philadephia in 1787 where he defended states' rights and slaveholding interests.
President George Washington appointed Rutledge as one of the original associate justices to the Supreme Court. Rutledge soon resigned without ever deciding a case and became chief justice of South Carolina. Washington sought him again; this time to be chief justice of the United States where he presided briefly over the six-man Court as an interim appointee. He spoke publicly against the Jay Treaty which aroused the ire of his fellow Federalists who controlled the Senate. They refused to confirm his appointment and he left the bench in 1795.