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Succession of Supreme Court Justices

This table is designed to aid the user in identifying the succession of justices on the Supreme Court. Read vertically, the table lists the succession of justices in each position of the Court and the years served by each.

The number of justices constituting the Supreme Court has varied. Initially, the Court comprised six justices, but Congress increased the number to seven in 1807, to nine in 1837, and then to ten in 1863. In 1866, Congress reduced the number of justices to eight in an effort to prevent President Andrew Johnson from making any appointments to the Court. As a result, the positions of John Catron, who died in 1865, and James M. Wayne, who died in 1867, were abolished. In 1869, Congress raised the number of justices to nine, where it has remained. William Strong, the first justice appointed under the new statute, has generally been considered to have succeeded Wayne. Thus, Catron is the only person who has held the tenth seat on the Court.

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