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Edward Douglass White
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Edward Douglass White

Edward Douglass White (November 3, 1845 - May 19, 1921), American politician and jurist, was a United States Senator, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the ninth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The son of Edward Douglass White, a former governor of Louisiana, White was born in Lafourche Parish, La on November 3, 1845. He studied at Mount St. Mary’s College, near Emmitsburg, Md and the Jesuit College in New Orleans before attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C, which he graduated from in 1863.

After finishing his studies, White served in the army of the Confederate States of America. Following the end of the war, White began his legal studies. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in New Orleans in 1868. He briefly served in the Louisiana State Senate in 1874 and as an Associate Justice in the Supreme Court of Louisiana from 1879 to 1880.

White was elected to the United States Senate in 1891, and served until his resignation on March 12, 1894, when he was nominated by President Grover Cleveland to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1910, he was elevated by President William Howard Taft to the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court upon the death of Melville Fuller.

White was generally seen as one of the more conservative members of the court. He was the author of the “rule of reason” decisions in the 1911 Standard Oil Company and American Tobacco Company antitrust cases. White also wrote the decision upholding the constitutionality of the Adamson Act, which had mandated a maximum eight-hour work day for railroad employees, in 1916.

White died in office on May 19, 1921, and was buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C

Preceded by:
Melville Fuller
Chief Justice of the United States Succeeded by:
William Howard Taft