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Iredell, James(īr`dĕl), 1751–99, American jurist, b. Lewes, England. He emigrated (1767) to North Carolina, where he entered the customs service at Edenton and was made (1774) collector for the port. He was admitted to the bar in 1771, and after the outbreak of the American Revolution he helped to organize the North Carolina court system. He became (1777) a judge and later (1779–81) was attorney general. His strong support of the proposed U.S. Constitution helped procure its adoption by North Carolina. In 1790, Iredell was made an associate justice of the newly established U.S. Supreme Court. Among his notable opinions was his dissent in Chisholm v. Georgia (1793) when the majority holding was that a state might be sued in the federal courts without its consent. The Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (adopted 1798) made that view the law of the land.
See biography by G. J. McRee (1857, repr. 1949).
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Iredell, James(1751–99) Supreme Court justice; born in Lewes, England. He emigrated to North Carolina at age 17 and became active in the revolution against England. He served as a North Carolina judge (1777–78) and as state attorney general (1779–81). At age 38, he was the youngest of the original six U.S. Supreme Court justices when chosen by President Washington, serving from 1790–99.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.