Justice James Moore Wayne

Justice James Moore Wayne joined the U.S. Supreme Court on January 14, 1835, replacing Justice William Johnson. Wayne was born in 1790 in Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1808. Wayne then studied law and was admitted to the Georgia bar. He briefly entered private practice before serving in the military during the War of 1812.

After the war, Wayne joined the Georgia state legislature and then became Mayor of Savannah from 1817 to 1819. He spent most of the 1820s as a judge in the Georgia court system. From 1829 to 1835, Wayne served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

On January 6, 1835, President Andrew Jackson nominated Wayne to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him on January 9, and he took the judicial oath five days later. Wayne would spend over three decades on the Court, mostly during the tenure of Chief Justice Roger Taney.

Although Wayne was from Georgia, and his son would join the Confederate Army during the Civil War, he opposed secession and stayed on the Supreme Court during the war. However, Wayne agreed with Taney in the infamous 1857 decision of Dred Scott v. Sandford, which held that slaves were property and that African-Americans (both enslaved and free) were not U.S. citizens. Wayne wrote a separate opinion but started it with a statement that he "[concurred] entirely in the opinion of the court." He also dissented from the notable decision in Cooley v. Board of Wardens, which upheld a state pilotage law against a constitutional challenge based on the Commerce Clause.

Wayne died on July 5, 1867 in Washington, D.C. and was buried in Savannah. Under the Judicial Circuits Act of 1866, which aimed to reduce the size of the Court, his seat was eliminated when the vacancy arose.