James Clark McReynolds

James Clark McReynolds (February 3, 1862 – August 24, 1946) was an American lawyer and judge from Tennessee who served as United States Attorney General under President Woodrow Wilson and as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He served on the Court from October 1914 to his retirement in January 1941. He is best known today for his sustained opposition to the domestic programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his overt racism and anti-semitism.

James McReynolds
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In office
August 29, 1914  January 31, 1941[1]
Nominated byWoodrow Wilson
Preceded byHorace Harmon Lurton
Succeeded byJames F. Byrnes
48th United States Attorney General
In office
March 15, 1913  August 29, 1914
PresidentWoodrow Wilson
Preceded byGeorge Wickersham
Succeeded byThomas Gregory
Personal details
James Clark McReynolds

(1862-02-03)February 3, 1862
Elkton, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedAugust 24, 1946(1946-08-24) (aged 84)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationVanderbilt University (BS)
University of Virginia (LLB)

Born in Elkton, Kentucky, McReynolds practiced law in Tennessee after graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as the Assistant Attorney General during the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt and became well known for his skill in antitrust cases. After President Wilson took office in 1913, he appointed McReynolds as his administration's first Attorney General. Wilson successfully nominated McReynolds to the Supreme Court in 1914 to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Associate Justice Horace Harmon Lurton.

In his twenty-six years on the bench, McReynolds wrote 506 majority opinions for the court and 157 dissents, 93 of which were against the New Deal. McReynolds was part of the "Four Horsemen" bloc of conservative justices who frequently voted to strike down New Deal programs. He assumed senior status in 1941 and was succeeded by James F. Byrnes. During his Supreme Court tenure, McReynolds wrote the majority opinion in cases such as Meyer v. Nebraska, United States v. Miller, Adams v. Tanner and Pierce v. Society of Sisters.