James Wilson

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Wilson, James,

1742–98, American jurist, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. near St. Andrews, Scotland. He studied at the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh and, after emigrating to Pennsylvania in 1766, taught Latin at the College of Philadelphia (now Univ. of Pennsylvania). He studied law there under John DickinsonDickinson, John,
1732–1808, American patriot and statesman, b. Talbot co., Md. After studying law in Philadelphia and in London at the Middle Temple, he developed a highly successful practice in Philadelphia.
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, was later admitted to the bar in 1767, and became a successful lawyer within a few years. He was a member of the Pennsylvania convention (1774) and in the following year was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress. Although he strongly disputed Parliament's authority over the colonies, he opposed independence until July, 1776. Because he vigorously opposed the extremely democratic principles of the Pennsylvania constitution of 1776, he lost (1777) his seat in Congress. He became allied with the conservative faction and argued for it in the Congress of the Confederation (1782–83, 1785–87). Wilson is especially known for his part in the Constitutional ConventionConstitutional Convention,
in U.S. history, the 1787 meeting in which the Constitution of the United States was drawn up. The Road to the Convention

The government adopted by the Thirteen Colonies in America (see Confederation, Articles of, and Continental
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 of 1787, where he was a proponent of a strong executive. His influence in drawing up the Constitution was second only to that of James MadisonMadison, James,
1751–1836, 4th President of the United States (1809–17), b. Port Conway, Va. Early Career

A member of the Virginia planter class, he attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), graduating in 1771.
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. He was active in drafting the Pennsylvania constitution of 1790 and served as associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1789–98). He was the first professor of law (1789) at the College of Philadelphia. Wilson wrote a number of pamphlets, addresses, treatises, and lectures on law.


See biography by C. P. Smith (1956, repr. 1973); the collection of his works, 2 vol., ed by R. G. McCloskey (1804, repr. 1967).

Wilson, James,

1836–1920, American agriculturist and cabinet officer, b. Ayrshire, Scotland. He emigrated to the United States and settled (1851) in Connecticut, later moving (1855) to Tama co., Iowa, where he became a successful farmer. A member of the Republican party, he served in the state legislature (1867–73) and in the U.S. Congress (1873–77, 1883–85). Wilson was (1891–97) director of the agricultural experiment station and professor of agriculture at Iowa State (now Iowa State Univ. of Science and Technology). As Secretary of Agriculture (1897–1913) under Presidents William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft, he greatly expanded the services of the department; a number of experimental stations were set up over the country, and the aid of experts and scientists was enlisted.

Wilson, James

(1742–98) lawyer, political thinker, U.S. Supreme Court justice; born in Carskerdo, Scotland. He emigrated from Scotland in 1765, and after reading law under John Dickinson, he began a practice in 1768; by 1773 he had also begun the first of his lifelong speculations in land purchases. In 1774 he distributed to members of the First Continental Congress his pamphlet, Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament, in which he rejected any authority of the British Parliament over the colonies. He signed the Declaration of Independence and was a central figure at the Constitutional Convention (1787) where he argued strongly for popular election of both houses of Congress and the President. In 1789 he became one of the first six justices of the Supreme Court. His most important decision was in Chisholm v. Georgia, in which he was able to reaffirm his long-standing belief that sovereignty lay with the people of the U.S.A., not with the state. He had continued his land speculations even as a justice and was being threatened both by creditors and with impeachment when he died.
References in periodicals archive ?
Importantly, in terms of how non-citizens in Canada access international human rights norms, Justice Wilson drew on international standards in two ways.
In her contemplation of whether the deprivations of liberty and security of the person are in keeping with the principles of fundamental justice, Justice Wilson followed BC Motor Vehicle and noted that the principles of fundamental justice can be found in "the basic tenets of our legal system.
after Justice Wilson had died, but individual Justices had occasion to
40) According to the judge, the Act did not make a distinction between early pregnancy, when a woman's autonomy ought to be absolute, and late pregnancy, when (as Justice Wilson argued) the state's interest in protecting the fetus becomes more compelling.
Lord Justice Wilson today upheld the April 2007 county court ruling that paves the way for adoption of the baby girl, although expressing his "profound sympathy" for the parents' position.
It will be recalled, however, that in Reference re Bill 30, Justice Wilson emphasized that the no hierarchy of rights doctrine is fundamental enough that section 29 of the Charter is essentially incidental to its existence.
Madam Justice Wilson came to symbolize the finest in humanistic, principled, and creative judging.
Mr Justice Wilson, sitting in the Family Division of the High Court in London, announced his decision following a four-day hearing in private.
After Marti's lawyer admitted he'd been doing 90mph in a 70mph limit area, Justice Wilson fined him pounds 150.
Mr Curzon, who lives in Florida, spent Friday night in the cells at Hastings before being escorted to London, where High Court judge Mr Justice Wilson committed him to jail until a full hearing tomorrow.
Justice Wilson also said if the public or social nuisance is to be eliminated, "there must be a much closer nexus between the associational activity that is prohibited and the nuisance to which it is alleged to give rise.
However, as Madam Justice Wilson indicated, 'conscience' and 'religion' have related meanings in that they both describe the location of profound moral and ethical beliefs, as distinguished from political or other beliefs which are protected by paragraph 2(b).