William Cushing (Supreme Court Justice)

William Cushing

William Cushing was one of the original five associate justices of the United States Supreme Court; confirmed by the United States Senate on September 26, 1789, he served until his death. His Supreme Court tenure of 20 years and 11 months was the longest among the Court’s inaugural members. In January 1796, he was nominated by President George Washington to become the Court’s Chief Justice; though confirmed, he declined the appointment. He was the last judge in the United States to wear a full wig.

Born: March 1, 1732, Scituate, Massachusetts Bay, British America
Died: September 13, 1810, Scituate, Massachusetts, U.S.
Education: Harvard University
Preceded by: Seat established
Succeeded by: Joseph Story

About William Cushing

Served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1789 to 1810.

Before Fame

He graduated from Harvard College in 1751.


He was the longest-serving justice of the Court’s original members, being there for 21 years.

Family Life

His father was John Cushing, an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.


He was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George Washington.

Information related to William Cushing

  • Judiciary Act of 1789 – The Judiciary Act of 1789 was a United States federal statute adopted on September 24, 1789, in the first session of the First United States Congress. It established the federal judiciary of the United States.
  • Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature
  • United States federal judges appointed by George Washington
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justices
  • Massachusetts Federalists
  • American Unitarians
  • 19th-century American judges

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