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Peckham, Rufus Wheeler (pĕk`əm), 1838–1909, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1895–1909), b. Albany, N.Y. Admitted (1859) to the bar, he became a leading Albany lawyer and was prominent in local Democratic politics. He served on the state supreme court (1883–86) and on the state court of appeals (1886–95) before he was appointed by President Grover Cleveland to the U.S. Supreme Court. A zealous defender of property rights, he ruled in the famous case of Lochner v. New York (1905) that a maximum-hours law was unconstitutional.
Peckham, Rufus Wheeler(1838–1909) Supreme Court justice; born in Albany, N.Y. He served on New York's supreme court (1883–86) and court of appeals (1886–95). President Grover Cleveland named him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1896–1909) where he wrote almost 400 opinions.