Samuel F. Miller

Media Items
Personal Information
Friday, April 5, 1816
Monday, October 13, 1890
Childhood Location 
Childhood Surroundings 
Associate Justice
Nominated By 
Commissioned on 
Wednesday, July 16, 1862
Sworn In 
Monday, July 21, 1862
Left Office 
Monday, October 13, 1890
Reason For Leaving 
Length of Service 
28 years, 2 months, 23 days
Samuel F. Miller
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: Cornelia Adele Fassett)

Samuel Freeman Miller was born and raised in Kentucky. Trained as a physician, Miller studied law and passed the Kentucky bar examination in 1847. Miller held to the view that slavery should be abolished, albeit gradually. He elected to free his own slaves and move to Iowa rather than submit to a stronger slavery position imposed by his home state of Kentucky.

Miller was very active in the formation of the Iowa Republican Party. Though he never held elective office, his reward for party service was the unanimous support of the Iowa Republican delegation when Lincoln faced the High Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Peter Daniel.

During his service on the Court, Miller participated in more than 5000 cases and spoke for the Court in nearly 100 constitutional decisions. Miller set the record for his time for the most constitiutional decisions authored by a single justice.

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