The Jay, Rutledge, and Ellsworth Courts (1789–1800)


How many of the first six justices had state court judicial experience?

Five of the first six justices—John Jay, John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, and James Iredell—had prior judicial experience. Only James Wilson of the original six had never served as a judge.

Jay had been chief justice of the New York State Court, Rutledge had been judge of the Court of Chancery of South Carolina, Cushing had been a member of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Blair had been chief justice of the Virginia Court of Appeals, and Iredell had been a judge on the Superior Court of North Carolina.


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