Joseph McKenna

Joseph McKenna (August 10, 1843 – November 21, 1926) was an American politician who served in all three branches of the U.S. federal government, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, as U.S. Attorney General and as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He is one of seventeen members of the House of Representatives who subsequently served on the Supreme Court (including two Chief Justices).[2]

Joseph McKenna
Joseph McKenna (assoc justice)
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In office
January 21, 1898 – January 5, 1925[1]
Nominated byWilliam McKinley
Preceded byStephen Field
Succeeded byHarlan Stone
42nd United States Attorney General
In office
March 5, 1897 – January 25, 1898
PresidentWilliam McKinley
Preceded byJudson Harmon
Succeeded byJohn Griggs
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
In office
March 17, 1892 – March 5, 1897
Nominated byBenjamin Harrison
Preceded byLorenzo Sawyer
Succeeded byWilliam Morrow
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1885 – March 28, 1892
Preceded byBarclay Henley
Succeeded bySamuel Hilborn
Personal details
BornAugust 10, 1843
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedNovember 21, 1926 (aged 83)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Amanda Borneman
EducationSaint Joseph's University
Columbia University


Amanda Borneman
Amanda Borneman

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Irish Catholic immigrants, he attended St. Joseph's College and the Collegiate Institute at Benicia, California. After being admitted to the California bar in 1865, he became District Attorney for Solano County and then campaigned for and won a seat in the California State Assembly for two years (1875–1877). He retired after one term and an unsuccessful bid for Speaker of the House.[3]

After two unsuccessful attempts, McKenna was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1885 and served for four terms. He was appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1892 by President Benjamin Harrison.[3]

In 1897 he was appointed the 42nd Attorney General of the United States by President William McKinley, and served in that capacity until 1898.[4] He was then appointed an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to succeed Justice Stephen J. Field. McKenna was named by President McKinley on January 28, 1898 and took his seat the next day. Conscious of his limited credentials, McKenna took courses at Columbia Law School for several months to improve his legal education before taking his seat on the Court.

Although he never developed a consistent legal philosophy, McKenna was the author of a number of important decisions. One of the most notable was his opinion in the case of United States v. U.S. Steel Corporation (1920) which held that antitrust cases would be decided on the "rule of reason" principle—only alleged monopolistic combinations that are in unreasonable restraint of trade—are illegal.[5]

McKenna was known to be a centrist, and was one of the most vigorous members of the Supreme Court. He authored 614 majority opinions, and 146 dissenting opinions during his time on the bench.[Bush, Supreme Court Decisions] His passionate rebuttal to the denial of "pecuniary benefit" to a wife whose husband had been killed while working on the railroad was among those which brought a change to the Employer Liability Act. His most noteworthy opinions are Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States 220 U.S. 45 (1911),[6][7] in which a unanimous Court upheld the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906,

In Hoke v. United States, he concurred in upholding the Mann Act, a/k/a "White-Slave Traffic Act". However, four years later, he dissented from the Court's opinion in Caminetti v. United States (1917), which held the act applied to private, noncommercial enticements to cross state lines for purposes of a sexual liaison. According to McKenna, the Act regulated only commercial vice, i.e., "immoralities having a mercenary purpose." [8]

While McKenna was generally quite favorable to federal power, he joined the Court's substantive due process jurisprudence and voted with the majority in 1905's Lochner v. New York, which struck down a state maximum-hours law for bakery workers,[8] This decision carried broader implications for the scope of federal power, at least until the New Deal and the 1937 switch-in-time-that-saved-nine West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish. (See Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937.)

McKenna resigned from the Court in January 1925 at the suggestion of Chief Justice William Howard Taft.[9] McKenna's ability to perform his duties had been diminished significantly by a stroke suffered 10 years earlier, and by the end of his tenure McKenna could not be counted on to write coherent opinions.[9]

Justice McKenna was one of 13 Catholic justices (out of the 113 total through the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch) in the history of the Supreme Court.[10]

McKenna married Amanda Borneman in 1869, and the couple had three daughters and one son.[8] McKenna died on November 21, 1926.[8] in Washington, D.C.. His remains are interred at the city's Mount Olivet Cemetery.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^ "Federal Judicial Center: Joseph McKenna". 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
  2. ^ "Members Who Also Served on the Supreme Court". Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Joseph McKenna at Archived 2010-03-04 at the Wayback Machine. Supreme Court Historical Society.
  4. ^ Department of Justice, Joseph McKenna Attorney General.
  5. ^ Joseph McKennat at infoplease.
  6. ^ Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States syllabus at
  7. ^ Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States full text opinion at
  8. ^ a b c d Ariens, Michael, Joseph McKenna at Archived 2010-07-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ a b Appel, JM. Anticipating the Incapacitated Justice, August 22, 2009.
  10. ^ Religious affiliation of Supreme Court justices Justice Sherman Minton converted to Catholicism after his retirement.
  11. ^ "Christensen, George A. (1983) Here Lies the Supreme Court: Gravesites of the Justices, Yearbook". Archived from the original on September 3, 2005. Retrieved 2013-11-24. Supreme Court Historical Society at Internet Archive.
  12. ^ See also, Christensen, George A., Here Lies the Supreme Court: Revisited, Journal of Supreme Court History, Volume 33 Issue 1, Pages 17 – 41 (19 Feb 2008), University of Alabama.


Further reading

  • Abraham, Henry J. (1999). Justices, Presidents, and Senators: A History of the U.S. Supreme Court Appointments from Washington to Clinton (Revised ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8476-9604-9.
  • Cushman, Clare (2001). The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies, 1789–1995 (2nd ed.). (Supreme Court Historical Society, Congressional Quarterly Books). ISBN 1-56802-126-7.
  • Frank, John P. (1995). Friedman, Leon; Israel, Fred L., eds. The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions. Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 0-7910-1377-4.
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. (1992). The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505835-6.
  • Martin, Fenton S.; Goehlert, Robert U. (1990). The U.S. Supreme Court: A Bibliography. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Books. ISBN 0-87187-554-3.
  • McKevitt, Brother Matthew (1946) Joseph McKenna: Associate Justice of the United States.
  • Urofsky, Melvin I. (1994). The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Garland Publishing. p. 590. ISBN 0-8153-1176-1.

External links

California Assembly
Preceded by
James Dixon
William H. Northcutt
W. S. M. Wright
Member of the California Assembly
from the 19th district

Served alongside: Thomas M. Swan
Succeeded by
John T. Dare
Richard C. Haile
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Barclay Henley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Samuel Hilborn
Legal offices
Preceded by
Lorenzo Sawyer
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Succeeded by
William Morrow
Preceded by
Judson Harmon
United States Attorney General
Succeeded by
John Griggs
Preceded by
Stephen Field
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Succeeded by
Harlan Stone
1876 United States House of Representatives elections in California

The United States House of Representatives elections in California, 1876 was an election for California's delegation to the United States House of Representatives, which occurred as part of the general election of the House of Representatives on November 7, 1876. Republicans gained two districts.

1879 United States House of Representatives elections in California

The United States House of Representatives elections in California, 1879 were elections for California's delegation to the United States House of Representatives, which occurred on September 3, 1879. California's delegation remained unchanged, at three Republicans and one Democrat.

1884 United States House of Representatives elections in California

The United States House of Representatives elections in California, 1884 was an election for California's delegation to the United States House of Representatives, which occurred as part of the general election of the House of Representatives on November 4, 1884. Republicans won both newly created districts and three of the four existing districts.

California's 3rd congressional district

California's 3rd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California.

John Garamendi, a Democrat, has represented the district since January 2013.

Currently, the 3rd district generally encompasses areas north and west of Sacramento. It consists of Colusa, Sutter, and Yuba counties plus portions of Glenn, Lake, Sacramento, Solano, and Yolo counties.Prior to redistricting by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission of 2011, the 3rd district consisted of Alpine, Amador, and Calaveras counties plus portions of Sacramento and Solano counties.

DeLima v. Bidwell

DeLima v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 1 (1901), was one of a group of the first Insular Cases decided by the US Supreme Court.

The case was argued on January 8-11, 1901 and was decided on May 27, 1901.

Frank McKenna

Francis Joseph McKenna, (born January 19, 1948) is a Canadian businessman and former politician and diplomat. He is currently Deputy Chairman of the Toronto-Dominion Bank. He served as Canadian Ambassador to the United States from 2005 to 2006. He served as the 27th Premier of New Brunswick from 1987 to 1997, winning every seat in the province in his first election.

Hall v. Geiger-Jones Co.

Hall v. Geiger-Jones Co., 242 U.S. 539 (1917), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld individual states' power to regulate the offer, sale, and purchase of securities. Such regulatory laws are commonly known today as "blue-sky laws"; the phrase is often said to be based on this opinion, although speculative securities were described as "blue sky" in sources published prior to this opinion. The opinion itself said:

The name that is given to the law indicates the evil at which it is aimed, that is, to use the language of a cited case, "speculative schemes which have no more basis than so many feet of 'blue sky'"; or, as stated by counsel in another case, "to stop the sale of stock in fly-by-night concerns, visionary oil wells, distant gold mines and other like fraudulent exploitations."

The decision rejected the notion of an arbitrary and capricious power accruing to state securities commissioners. The opinion author, Justice Joseph McKenna, reasoned such a broad delegation to state official was justified because valuing securities is "a complex problem" and requires skill and expertise often not available to the individual investor. Justice McKenna wrote of checks on government abuse because, "an adverse judgment by the commissioner is reviewable by the courts."

Harlan F. Stone

Harlan Fiske Stone (October 11, 1872 – April 22, 1946) was an American political figure, lawyer, and jurist. He served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1925 to 1941 and as the 12th Chief Justice of the United States from 1941 to 1946. He was also the 52nd United States Attorney General. His most famous dictum was: "Courts are not the only agency of government that must be assumed to have capacity to govern."Born in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, Stone practiced law in New York City after graduating from Columbia Law School. He became the dean of Columbia Law School and a partner with Sullivan & Cromwell. During World War I, he served on the War Department Board of Inquiry, which evaluated the sincerity of conscientious objectors. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge appointed Stone as the Attorney General. Stone sought to reform the Department of Justice in the aftermath of several scandals that occurred during the administration of President Warren G. Harding. He also pursued several antitrust cases against large corporations.

In 1925, Coolidge nominated Stone to succeed retiring Associate Justice Joseph McKenna, and Stone won Senate confirmation with little opposition. On the Taft Court, Stone joined with Justices Holmes and Brandeis in calling for judicial restraint and deference to the legislative will. On the Hughes Court, Stone and Justices Brandeis and Cardozo formed a liberal bloc called the Three Musketeers that generally voted to uphold the constitutionality of the New Deal. His majority opinions in United States v. Darby Lumber Co. and United States v. Carolene Products Co. were influential in shaping standards of judicial scrutiny.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Stone to succeed the retiring Charles Evans Hughes as Chief Justice, and the Senate quickly confirmed Stone. The Stone Court presided over several cases during World War II, and Stone's majority opinion in Ex parte Quirin upheld the jurisdiction of a United States military tribunal over the trial of eight German saboteurs. His majority opinion in International Shoe Co. v. Washington was influential with regards to personal jurisdiction. Stone was the Chief Justice in Korematsu v. United States, ruling the exclusion of Japanese Americans into internment camps as constitutional. Stone served as Chief Justice until his death in 1946. He had one of the shortest terms of any Chief Justice, and was the first Chief Justice not to have served in elected office.

John Macnab

John Macnab is a novel by John Buchan, published in 1925.

Joseph McKenna (disambiguation)

Joseph McKenna (1843–1926) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Joseph McKenna may also refer to:

Joseph D. McKenna, an American state legislator

Joseph G. McKenna (1922–1971), an American educator and member of the Congregation of Christian Brothers

Joseph Neale McKenna (1819–1906), an Irish banker and politician

Joe McKenna (born 1951), a former Irish sportsperson

Joseph McKenna, a member (Volunteer) of the Irish Republican Army

Leser v. Garnett

Leser v. Garnett, 258 U.S. 130 (1922), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution had been constitutionally established.

List of federal judges appointed by William McKinley

Following is a list of all Article III United States federal judges appointed by President William McKinley during his presidency. In total McKinley appointed 35 Article III federal judges, including 1 Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States, 6 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 28 judges to the United States district courts.

Additionally, McKinley appointed 3 members of the Article I tribunal Board of General Appraisers (later the United States Customs Court).

From the establishment of the United States courts of appeals on June 16, 1891, until the abolition of the United States circuit courts on December 31, 1911, all United States Circuit Judges where jointly appointed to both the United States court of appeal and the United States circuit court for their respective circuit. Starting January 1, 1912, United States Circuit Judges served only on the United States court of appeal for their respective circuit.

Michael McKenna (bishop)

Michael Joseph McKenna DD (8 December 1951 in Bairnsdale, Victoria), an Australian suffragan bishop, is the eighth Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst, appointed in 2009.

Samuel G. Hilborn

Samuel Greeley Hilborn (December 9, 1834 – April 19, 1899) was a U.S. Representative from California.

Taylor v. Beckham

Taylor v. Beckham, 178 U.S. 548 (1900), was a case heard before the Supreme Court of the United States on April 30 and May 1, 1900, to decide the outcome of the disputed Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899. The litigants were Republican gubernatorial candidate William S. Taylor and Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate J. C. W. Beckham. In the November 7, 1899, election, Taylor received 193,714 votes to Democrat William Goebel's 191,331. This result was certified by a 2–1 decision of the state's Board of Elections. Goebel challenged the election results on the basis of alleged voting irregularities, and the Democrat-controlled Kentucky General Assembly formed a committee to investigate Goebel's claims. Goebel was shot on January 30, 1900, one day before the General Assembly approved the committee's report declaring enough Taylor votes invalid to swing the election to Goebel. As he lay dying of his wounds, Goebel was sworn into office on January 31, 1900. He died on February 3, 1900, and Beckham ascended to the governorship.

Claiming the General Assembly's decision was invalid, Taylor sued to prevent Beckham from exercising the authority of the governor's office. Beckham countersued Taylor for possession of the state capitol and governor's mansion. The suits were consolidated and heard in Jefferson County circuit court, which claimed it had no authority to interfere with the method of deciding contested elections prescribed by the state constitution, an outcome that favored Beckham. The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the circuit court's decision on appeal and rejected Taylor's claim that he had been deprived of property without due process by stating that an elective office was not property and thus not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.

The injection of Taylor's claim under the Fourteenth Amendment gave him grounds to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a majority opinion delivered by Chief Justice Melville Fuller, the Supreme Court also rejected Taylor's claim to loss of property without due process and thus refused to intervene on Taylor's behalf, claiming that no federal issues were in question and the court lacked jurisdiction. Justices Gray, White, Shiras, and Peckham concurred with the majority opinion. Justice Joseph McKenna concurred with the decision to dismiss, but expressed reservations about the determination that an elected office was not property. Justice David J. Brewer, joined by Justice Henry B. Brown, contended that the Supreme Court did have jurisdiction, but concurred with the result in favor of Beckham. Kentuckian John Marshall Harlan authored the lone dissent from the majority opinion, claiming that the court did have jurisdiction and should have found in favor of Taylor based on his claim of loss of property without due process. He further argued that elective office fell under the definition of "liberty" as used in the Fourteenth Amendment and was protected by due process.

The Golem (Leivick)

The Golem (original Yiddish title Der Goylem) is a 1921 "dramatic poem in eight scenes" by H. Leivick. The story is a reworking of a legend of Judah Loew ben Bezalel, known as the Maharal, a great rabbi of Prague. In the legend, he animates a golem, a being crafted from inanimate material. The same legends had provided the ground for Gustav Meyrink's 1915 novel of the same name.

In both cases, there is an admixture of material of Christian origin and probably influence from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Leivick's version includes several messiah figures including "The Man With the Cross", and is strongly focused on the plight of the golem, animated against his will and wrestling with his particular form of the human condition, and, secondarily, of the rabbi, a "creator whose creation does not respond in accordance with his plan". (Landis, 1972, 221)

Leivick referred to this work as a "dramatic poem" rather than a "play". As originally written, it was unstageable, requiring, for example, that flames flicker out of their own accord and that actors be visibly knocked about (and even bloodied) by invisible forces; furthermore, the full piece would probably take at least four hours to stage, perhaps longer. However, stageable versions were soon developed, and the play became a standard of Yiddish theater.

An Off-Broadway stage version (starring Robert Prosky and Joseph McKenna), produced and adapted from Leivick by David Fishelson, achieved success in early 2002, receiving a "Best Supporting Actor" nomination for McKenna by the Outer Critics Circle, as well as a Sunday Arts feature article in The New York Times. The play was published by Dramatists Play Service in 2003.A stage version of The Golem based on Leivick's poem has recently been published by the American playwright Howard Rubenstein and premiered at the Penn Theatre, San Diego.

William W. Morrow

William W. Morrow (July 15, 1843 – July 24, 1929) was a United States Representative from California from 1885 to 1891, and a United States federal judge from 1891 until his death.

Winters v. United States

Winters v. United States, 207 U.S. 564 (1908), was a United States Supreme Court case clarifying water rights of American Indian reservations. This doctrine was meant to clearly define the water rights of American Indians in cases where the rights were not clear. The case was first argued on October 24, 1907 and a decision was reached January 6, 1908. This case set the standards for the United States government to acknowledge the vitality of American Indian water rights, and how rights to the water relate to the continuing survival and self-sufficiency of American Indian people.

Witton Cemetery

Witton Cemetery (grid reference SP082921), which opened in Witton in 1863 as Birmingham City Cemetery, is the largest cemetery in Birmingham, England. Covering an area of 103 acres (0.42 km2), it once had three chapels; however, two of these were demolished in 1980. The cemetery would perform up to 20 burials a day; however, it was declared "full to capacity" in December 2013, allowing burials only in existing family plots, or of babies or cremated remains. Extra capacity was therefore provided at the nearby New Hall Cemetery. The cemetery office was opened in 1999.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.