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Willis Van Devanter
Birth: Apr. 17, 1859
Marion
Grant County
Indiana, USA
Death: Feb. 8, 1941
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

US Supreme Court Associate Justice. A member of the Republican Party, he served in this position from December 1910 until June 1937. After receiving his Bachelor of Laws Degree from Cincinnati Law School (now University of Cincinnati College of Law) in Cincinnati, Ohio, he returned to his home town of Marion, Indiana and practiced law for three years. In 1884 he relocated to Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory and served in the territorial legislature and five years later he became chief judge of the territorial court. In 1890 he returned to private practice and six years later moved to Washington DC where he was an assistant attorney general with the Department of the Interior and taught law at The George Washington University Law School there. In February 1903 he was nominated by US President Theodore Roosevelt to the newly created 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and approved by the US Senate. In December 1910 US President William Howard Taft nominated him to on the US Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated by Edward Douglass White, Jr. who had been selected Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. During his tenure on the High Court, he is best remembered for his opinions defending limited government and was widely known as one of the conservative bloc's "Four Horseman" (along with George Sutherland, James Clark McReynolds, and Pierce Butler) who were instrumental in striking down US President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal legislation. He wrote fewer opinions than any of the other Justices and suffered from chronic "writer's block" but was highly regarded as an expert on judicial procedure. In December 1921 Chief Justice William Howard Taft appointed him to help draft a revised Judicial Code that would define the jurisdiction of the High Court that was eventually passed in 1925. In 1937 he retired from the bench and was replaced by Hugo L. Black. He died at the age of 81. His papers are archived in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress in Washington DC. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Isaac VanDevanter (1821 - 1898)
  Violetta Maria Spencer VanDevanter (1838 - 1933)
 
 Spouse:
  Delice Hannah Burhans Van Devanter (1862 - 1934)*
 
 Children:
  Isaac Burhans Van Devanter (1885 - 1954)*
  Winslow Burhans Van Devanter (1896 - 1988)*
 
 Siblings:
  Willis Van Devanter (1859 - 1941)
  Elizabeth Van Devanter Lacey (1861 - 1945)*
  Isaac VanDevanter (1863 - 1881)*
  Nora VanDevanter (1866 - 1866)*
  Florence VanDevanter (1875 - 1878)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Rock Creek Cemetery
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Plot: Section R-11, Lot 29
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 1658
Willis Van Devanter
Added by: William Bjornstad
 
Willis Van Devanter
Added by: Ron Williams
 
Willis Van Devanter
Added by: Ron Williams
 
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Thank you for your public service on the bench of the US Supreme Court. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Jan. 22, 2016
Third cousin 4 times removed.
- Genealogy Bug Kate
 Added: Jul. 10, 2015

- LawBaby
 Added: Apr. 17, 2015
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