Robert Trimble

Media Items
Personal Information
Sunday, November 17, 1776
Monday, August 25, 1828
Childhood Location 
Childhood Surroundings 
Associate Justice
Nominated By 
Adams, J.Q.
Commissioned on 
Tuesday, May 9, 1826
Sworn In 
Friday, June 16, 1826
Left Office 
Monday, August 25, 1828
Reason For Leaving 
Length of Service 
2 years, 2 months, 9 days
Robert Trimble
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: C. Gregory Stapko)

Though born in Virginia, Robert Trimble spent most of his life in Kentucky where he studied and read law. After a short stint in the Kentucky House of Representatives, Trimble took a seat on the state Court of Appeals. He resigned 8 years later stating that the compensation ($1000 a year) was inadequate. Trimble devoted his energy to private practice. By 1817, he was a rich man and owned several slaves. With his financial security assured, Trimble accepted Madison's nomination to the federal trial court in Kentucky. Eight years later, John Quincy Adams named Trimble, a staunch nationalist, as his only appointment to the Supreme Court. Trimble's tenure was brief: 27 months. He was the Court's voice in 15 opinions. His only constitutional opinion gave rise to Chief Justice John Marshall's only dissent.

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Robert Trimble. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
Robert Trimble, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"Robert Trimble," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,