Supreme Court Trivia

Careers Away from the Court

How many Supreme Court justices were former state governors?

Nine justices were former state governors. These included John Jay, New York governor from 1795 to 1801 after he served on the U.S. Supreme Court; John Rutledge, South Carolina governor from 1779 to 1782; Thomas Johnson, Maryland governor (its first) from 1777 to 1779; William Paterson, New Jersey governor from 1790 to 1793; Levi Woodbury, New Hampshire governor from 1823 to 1824; Salmon P. Chase, Ohio governor from 1856 to 1860; Frank Murphy, Michigan governor from 1937 to 1939; James Francis Byrnes, South Carolina governor from 1951 to 1955, after his short stay on the U.S. Supreme Court (1941–42); and Chief Justice Earl Warren, California governor from 1943 to 1953.


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