Willis Van Devanter

Media Items
Personal Information
Born 
Sunday, April 17, 1859
Died 
Saturday, February 8, 1941
Childhood Location 
Indiana
Childhood Surroundings 
Indiana
Position 
Associate Justice
Seat 
2
Nominated By 
Taft
Commissioned on 
Friday, December 16, 1910
Sworn In 
Tuesday, January 3, 1911
Left Office 
Wednesday, June 2, 1937
Reason For Leaving 
Retired
Length of Service 
26 years, 4 months, 30 days
Home 
Wyoming

Cases Argued

Willis Van Devanter
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: Thomas E. Stephens)
Biography 

Willis Van Devanter spent his early years in Indiana but headed to Wyoming Territory shortly after receiving his law degree. Van Devanter opened his law practice In Cheyenne and became active in Republican politics. For his efforts, President Benjamin Harrison appointed Van Devanter as chief justice of the Wyoming Territorial Supreme Court at the ripe old age of 30!

After a stint in Washington as an assistant attorney general, Van Devanter accepted President Theodore Roosevelt's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Seven years later, President William Howard Taft nominated Van Devanter to the Supreme Court. Van Devanter was afflicted with "pen paralysis." He rarely spoke for the Court in constitutional cases.

Clerkships 
Clerk Law School Terms Clerked
John T. McHale 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936
Arthur J. Mattson 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927
Mahlon D. Kiefer 1914, 1915, 1917, 1918

Which player's contribution to baseball best matches Willis Van Devanter's contribution to law?

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Cite this Page
Willis Van Devanter. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 01 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/willis_van_devanter>.
Willis Van Devanter, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/willis_van_devanter (last visited September 1, 2014).
"Willis Van Devanter," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 1, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/justices/willis_van_devanter.