Augusta in Kennebec County, Maine — The American Northeast (New England)
Melville Weston Fuller
Melville Weston Fuller
February 11, 1833 — July 4, 1910
Eighth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Melville Weston Fuller, an Augusta native, returned to the city following his graduation from Harvard Law School. Here he briefly practiced law, held municipal offices, edited a newspaper and then migrated to Chicago, where he became one of its leading trial lawyers.
President Grover Cleveland nominated Fuller to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1888, a post Fuller held for twenty-two years. Fuller was an able administrator of the Court and established the tradition of each Justice greeting and shaking hands with every other Justice prior to case conferences. This tradition has persisted and has encouraged comity among the Justices.
A tactful and self-effacing jurist, Fuller often assigned the more important opinions to Justices other than himself in order to promote a sense of teamwork within the Court. Following his death the bar and the judiciary eulogized him as one who, with few exceptions, successfully
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 44° 18.89′ N, 69° 46.652′ W. Marker is in Augusta, Maine, in Kennebec County. Marker is on State Street north of Court Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker and related statue are located near the sidewalk, directly in front of the State Street entrance to the Kennebec County Courthouse complex. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 95 State Street, Augusta ME 04330, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cornerstone Day / La pose des premières pierres (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); United States Post Office / La Poste des Etats-Unis (about 800 feet away); Flag Protest ~ War of 1812 / Drapeau en berne - Guerre de 1812 (about 800 feet away); Augusta's Publishing Empire / L'empire de l'édition à Augusta (approx. 0.2 miles away); Granite Block / Un Bâtiment en granit (approx. 0.2 miles away); Market Square / La place du Marché (approx. 0.2 miles away); They Were Superior Buildings / Des bâtiments pittoresques (approx. A New Look for Water Street / Un nouvel arrivant dans Water Street (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Augusta.
Also see . . .
1. Melville Weston Fuller.
Melville Weston Fuller, eighth chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 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. (Submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Melville Fuller.
In 1855, Fuller set up his own practice in Augusta. But he didn't stay in his home state for very long. The following year, he went west to Chicago, where he became immersed in politics as well as the law. He was active in the Democratic Party. In 1860, he served as Stephen Douglas's campaign manager in his presidential run against Abraham Lincoln. While Douglas was unsuccessful in his efforts, Fuller himself won office a few years later. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. (Submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Melville Weston Fuller.
During his tenure as Chief Justice, Fuller presided over several important cases and coined phrases that are still recognized by Americans today. For example, he ruled on Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, and coined the phrase “separate but equal” in his court opinion. He served on the Arbitration Commission in Paris to resolve a dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela. In Gonzalez v. Williams in 1904, Fuller ruled that Puerto Ricans were not aliens and could not be denied entry into the United States. His various rulings on immigration issues raised other questions about citizenship status and immigration rights. (Submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 140 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.