Justice Joseph Rucker Lamar

Justice Joseph Rucker Lamar joined the U.S. Supreme Court on January 3, 1911, replacing Justice William Moody. Lamar was born on October 14, 1857 in northeast Georgia. He entered the University of Georgia in 1874, but he finished his studies at Bethany College in West Virginia three years later. Lamar briefly pursued a legal education at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, but he dropped out and read law in Augusta, Georgia. He was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1878 and eventually entered private practice there.

During the late 1880s, Lamar served in the Georgia House of Representatives. He was appointed to a commission to recodify the laws of Georgia in 1893. Governor Joseph M. Terrell eventually appointed Lamar to the Georgia Supreme Court, where he served from 1903 to 1905. However, he resigned for various personal reasons and returned to private practice.

On December 12, 1910, President William Howard Taft nominated Lamar to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him just three days later, and he took the judicial oath shortly after the new year began. His tenure on the Court lasted almost exactly five years and was relatively uneventful. Lamar typically voted with the majority, writing only eight dissents.

Lamar suffered a paralytic stroke in late 1915 and died on January 2, 1916 in Washington, D.C. He was buried in Augusta, Georgia. Justice Louis Brandeis replaced him on the Court.