Van Devanter, Willis (văn dēvăn`tər), 1859–1941, American jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1910–37), b. Marion, Ind. He practiced law (1881–84) in Indiana and, after he removed to Wyoming, became (1889) chief justice of the Wyoming supreme court. He had a prominent role in Republican party politics and served as Assistant U.S. Attorney General (1897–1903) and U.S. circuit court judge (1905–10). Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Taft, Van Devanter was one of the quartet of conservative justices who opposed most of the New Deal legislation.
Van Devanter, Willis(1859–1941) Supreme Court justice; born in Marion, Ind. His involvement in frontier politics led to his appointment as assistant U.S. attorney general (1897–1903) and as a federal judge (1903–10). President Taft named him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1911–37). As a conservative, he often opposed President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal measures.