The New International Encyclopædia/Waite, Morrison Remick

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The New International Encyclopædia
Waite, Morrison Remick
Edition of 1905. See also Morrison Waite on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

WAITE, Morrison Remick (1816-88). An American jurist, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1874 to 1888. He was born at Lyme, Conn., and graduated at Yale in 1837. He was admitted to the bar at Maumee City, Ohio, in 1839. In 1849 he was elected to the Ohio Legislature as a Whig, of which party he was a member until the organization of the Republican Party. He first attracted national attention when in 1871 he was appointed with Caleb Cushing and William M. Evarts to represent the United States before the tribunal for the arbitration of the Alabama and other claims at Geneva, Switzerland. In 1873 he was president of the Ohio Constitutional Convention. In January, 1874, President Grant nominated Waite to succeed Salmon P. Chase as Chief Justice of the United States, and he was at once unanimously confirmed. This position he held until his death. As Chief Justice he was dignified and impartial, and absolutely unbiased by political considerations. In the numerous constitutional questions growing out of the interpretation of the amendments following the Civil War, he maintained a balance between the rights of the States and the extended powers of the Federal Government, and many of the most important opinions of this period were written by him. Amoung these decisions were those on the head-money tax cases (1876), the polygamy cases (1879), the election laws (1880), the power of removal by the President (1881), the Virginia land cases (1881), the Civil Rights Act (1883), the Alabama claims (1885), the Legal Tender Act (1885), the express companies' cases (1886), the extradition cases (1886), the Virginia debt cases (1887), and the cases of the Chicago anarchists (1887).