Joseph Story

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Joseph Story
JosephStory.jpg
Former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
From: November 18, 1811 – September 10, 1845
NominatorJames Madison
PredecessorWilliam Cushing
SuccessorLevi Woodbury
Former U.S. Representative from Massachusetts's 2nd District
From: May 23, 1808 – March 3, 1809
PredecessorJacob Crowninshield
SuccessorBenjamin Pickman, Jr.
Information
Party Democratic-Republican
Religion Unitarian

Joseph Story (1779-1845) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and a founder of Harvard Law School. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1811 by the so-called "Father of our Constitution," President James Madison.

Justice Story was the son of one of the Boston Tea Party 'Indians'. He graduated from Harvard and eventually became Massachusetts Speaker of the House. A founder of the Harvard Law School, Justice Story stated in Vidal v. Girard's Executors (1844):
"Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?"
In his "Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States" Justice Story noted,
"The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects."

Joseph Story said the following about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms:[1]

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

Story's son, William Wetmore Story, became a famous sculptor in Rome.

References

  1. 3 J. Story, Commentaries sec. 1890, p. 746 (1833).


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