Willis Van Devanter

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

Cases Argued

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

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.

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

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. 27 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/willis_van_devanter?order=field_education_value&sort=asc>.
Willis Van Devanter, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/willis_van_devanter?order=field_education_value&sort=asc (last visited August 27, 2015).
"Willis Van Devanter," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 27, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/justices/willis_van_devanter?order=field_education_value&sort=asc.