Fuller, Melville Weston

Fuller, Melville Weston

▪ chief justice of United States
born Feb. 11, 1833, Augusta, Maine, U.S.
died July 4, 1910, Sorrento, Maine
 eighth chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1888–1910), whose amiability, impartiality, and rare administrative skill enabled him to manage court conferences efficiently and to resolve or forestall serious disputes among the justices whom he superintended. Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Samuel F. Miller, two outstanding members of the Fuller court, called him the best presiding judge they had ever known.

      Graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine (1853), Fuller attended Harvard Law School briefly, was a newspaperman in Augusta for a time, was admitted to the bar in 1855, and from 1856 practiced law in Chicago. He was elected as a Democrat to the Illinois Constitutional Convention of 1861 and to the State House of Representatives in 1862.

 Prominent at the Chicago bar but unknown nationally, Fuller was appointed chief justice by Pres. Grover Cleveland in 1888. He successfully administered a court that comprised such justices as Holmes, Miller, Stephen J. Field, Joseph P. Bradley, and John Marshall Harlan, all of whom overshadowed him in either intelligence or forcefulness. He wrote two important opinions, both in 1895: E.C. Knight Co. (United States v. E.C. Knight Company), in which he construed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 so narrowly as to prevent its application to almost any business except transportation; and Farmers' Loan and Trust Co. (Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company), in which he declared the federal income tax law of 1894 unconstitutional.

      While serving as chief justice, Fuller also was an arbitrator of the Venezuelan boundary dispute between that nation and Great Britain (1897–99) and a member of the Hague Court of International Arbitration (1900–10).

Additional Reading
Willard L. King, Melville Weston Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States, 1888–1910 (1950, reissued 1967), is a biography. Howard B. Furer, The Fuller Court, 1888–1910 (1986, reissued 1995); and James W. Ely, Jr., The Chief Justiceship of Melville W. Fuller, 1888–1910 (1995), examine his work as chief justice.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Fuller,Melville Weston — Ful·ler (fo͝olʹər), Melville Weston. 1833 1910. American jurist who served as the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1888 1910) and maintained that governmental powers must derive from a strict interpretation of the Constitution. * * * …   Universalium

  • Fuller, Melville (Weston) — born Feb. 11, 1833, Augusta, Me., U.S. died July 4, 1910, Sorrento U.S. jurist. After graduating from Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School, he built a major legal practice in Chicago (from 1856), where he became prominent in Democratic Party… …   Universalium

  • Melville Weston Fuller — noun United States jurist and chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1833 1910) • Syn: ↑Fuller, ↑Melville W. Fuller • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chief justice …   Useful english dictionary

  • Melville Fuller — 8th Chief Justice of the United States In office July 20, 1888[ …   Wikipedia

  • Melville W. Fuller — Melville Weston Fuller Melville Weston Fuller (* 11. Februar 1833 in Augusta, Maine; † 4. Juli 1910) war ein US amerikanischer Jurist und Oberster Bundesrichter der USA von 1888 bis 1910. Der in Augusta, Maine, geborene F …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fuller — /fool euhr/, n. 1. George, 1822 84, U.S. painter. 2. Henry B(lake), ( Stanton Page ), 1857 1929, U.S. novelist, poet, and critic. 3. Melville Weston /wes teuhn/, 1833 1910, Chief Justice of the U.S. 1888 1910. 4. R(ichard) Buckminster, 1895 1983 …   Universalium

  • Melville W. Fuller — noun United States jurist and chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1833 1910) • Syn: ↑Fuller, ↑Melville Weston Fuller • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chief justice …   Useful english dictionary

  • fuller — fuller1 /fool euhr/, n. a person who fulls cloth. [bef. 1000; ME; OE fullere < L fullo fuller; see ER1] fuller2 /fool euhr/, n. 1. a half round hammer used for grooving and spreading iron. 2. a tool or part of a die for reducing the sectional… …   Universalium

  • Melville — Melvillean, adj., n. /mel vil/, n. 1. Herman, 1819 91, U.S. novelist. 2. Lake, a saltwater lake on the E coast of Labrador, Newfoundland, in E Canada, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a narrow inlet: the mouth of the Churchill River is at its …   Universalium

  • Weston — /wes teuhn/, n. 1. Edward, 1886 1958, U.S. photographer. 2. a city in NE Massachusetts. 11,169. * * * (as used in expressions) Chapman Maria Weston Maria Weston Fuller Melville Weston Weston Edward * * * ▪ West Virginia, United States       city …   Universalium

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