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Wiley Blount Rutledge

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Wiley Blount Rutledge (1894 - 1949) was a U.S. educator and jurist.

Rutledge was born in Cloverport, Kentucky. His family moved about while he was young, but he attended college at Marysville College and then the University of Wisconsin, graduating from there in 1914. Rutledge taught high school in Indiana while attending the University of Indiana law school part-time. He later moved to Colorado, and received a degree from the University of Colorado school of law in Boulder.

Rutledge worked in private practive in Boulder for a few years before deciding to instead pursue an academic career. He taught at a number of law schools before being named Dean of the University of Iowa College of Law in 1935. From this position, Rutledge was a vocal supporter of Franklin Roosevelt's plan to pack the Supreme Court.

Roosevelt appointed Rutledge to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1939, and Rutledge quickly demonstrated strong liberal tendencies, particularly in his interpretation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Roosevelt nominated Rutledge to the United States Supreme Court in 1943, where Rutledge continued his liberal leanings. He served on the court until his death in 1949, at the age of fifty-five. One of Rutledge's law clerks, John Paul Stevens, would himself become a Supreme Court justice, in 1975.


Preceded by:
James F. Byrnes
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
February 15, 1943September 10, 1949
Succeeded by:
Sherman Minton

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