Joseph Story

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Story, Joseph,

1779–1845, American jurist, associate justice of the Supreme Court (1811–45), b. Marblehead, Mass. Admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1801, he practiced law in Salem and was several times elected to the Massachusetts legislature. He served briefly in the U.S. Congress in 1808–9. Story's legal scholarship quickly earned him great prominence, and in 1811 (at the age of 32) he was appointed by President Madison to the U.S. Supreme Court, the youngest person ever to hold that position. In the early period of his judicial tenure, as part of his duties on the Supreme Court, he was also a circuit justice in New England. His decisions helped frame U.S. admiralty and prize law. Story's judicial views nearly always agreed with those of John MarshallMarshall, John,
1755–1835, American jurist, 4th chief justice of the United States (1801–35), b. Virginia. Early Life

The eldest of 15 children, John Marshall was born in a log cabin on the Virginia frontier (today in Fauquier co., Va.
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; this was not the case with Marshall's successor, Roger B. Taney. One of the most important opinions Story wrote for the Supreme Court was Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816); it established the power of the federal court to review issues of constitutional law raised in state cases. Story expressed his strong antislavery sentiments in several judgments that ordered the repatriation to Africa of blacks brought into U.S. ports by slavers. In 1829, Story became the first Dane professor of law at Harvard. For the remainder of his life he sat on the Supreme Court and taught at Harvard. In connection with his teaching, Story wrote many legal works, systematic summaries of bodies of case law (mostly British), so treated as to elucidate the legal and philosophical bases. A nationalist in principle, he attempted to provide a justification for rational and uniform legal principles, thereby not privileging the legal standards practiced in any region. Story's texts must be ranked with James Kent's Commentaries on the American Law as formative influences on American jurisprudence and legal education. They include commentaries on bailments (1832), the U.S. Constitution (3 vol., 1833), conflict of laws (1834), equity jurisprudence (2 vol., 1836), equity pleading (1838), agency (1839), partnership (1841), bills of exchange (1843), and promissory notes (1845). All his books appeared in several editions; that on equity jurisprudence (14th ed. 1918) perhaps retained its utility longest.


See Life and Letters of Joseph Story, ed. by his son, W. W. Story (1851); studies by J. McClellan (1971) and R. K. Newmyer (1985).

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Story, Joseph

(1779–1845) Supreme Court justice; born in Marblehead, Mass. He was serving on the Massachusetts legislature (1805–07, 1811–12) when President Madison named him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1812–45). Along with chief justice John Marshall, he promoted nationalism and a strong central government.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
With consequences for today's natural-law proponents and critics alike, Professor Forsyth deftly explores the thought of the Puritans, Revolutionary Americans, and seminal legal figures including William Blackstone, Joseph Story, Christopher Columbus Langdell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the legal realists.
He covers the Supreme Court Justices and the circuit court experience; the federal circuit courts: shaping local and national justice for an emerging republic; Bushrod Washington (1762-1829): the role of precedent and the preservation of vested interests; Henry Brockholst Livingston (1757-1823): consolidating mercantile law; Joseph Story (1779-1845): admiralty expertise and the importation of common law; and Justice Smith Thompson (1768-1843): promoting commerce, state sovereignty, and the protection of the Cherokee Nation.
This week, the bureau renamed the program the "Joseph Story Honors Attorney Program.," named after a Supreme Court Justice who was a longtime property rights advocate.
Schloss's Story of the Passing of Joseph Suess is a modern Joseph story of final forgiveness.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."
(14) Once the narratives were understood to be similar, even fanciful connections were made, such as finding the numerical value of Daniel hidden in the Joseph story. (15)
No one but Scalia, dissenting in a same-sex marriage case, could have written, "The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."
This requirement was intended, Justice Joseph Story explains in his lucid Commentaries on the Constitution, to interpose a barrier against those corrupt interferences of foreign governments in executive elections.
He said of Kennedy's writing, "the opinion's showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent." (Burn!) He sneered, "The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie." He got snarky, asking, "Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms?
Analyzing speeches and letters of Chief Justice John Marshall and fellow justice Joseph Story, LaCroix demonstrates "the central place that reading literature, and reading fiction in particular, occupied in the thought of lawyers and judges" (252).