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Edward Terry Sanford

In office
January 29, 1923[1] – March 8, 1930
Nominated by Warren G. Harding
Preceded by Mahlon Pitney
Succeeded by Owen Josephus Roberts

Born July 23, 1865
Died March 8, 1930 (aged 64)

Edward Terry Sanford (July 23, 1865 – March 8, 1930) was an American jurist who served on the United States Supreme Court.

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Sanford received a B.A. and a Ph.B. from the University of Tennessee in 1883, a B.A. from Harvard University in 1885, an M.A. from Harvard University in 1889, and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1889. He was in private practice in Knoxville, Tennessee from 1890 to 1907, and was a lecturer at the University of Tennessee School of Law from 1898 to 1907. Sanford first served in the government as a special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States from 1905 to 1907, and then as Assistant Attorney General in 1907 under President Theodore Roosevelt.

On May 14, 1908, Roosevelt nominated Sanford to a seat on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee vacated by Charles D. Clark. Sanford was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 18, 1908, and received his commission the same day. Upon the advice of Sanford's friend, Chief Justice William Howard Taft, President Warren Harding nominated Sanford to the Supreme Court on January 24, 1923, to the seat vacated by Mahlon Pitney. Sanford was confirmed by the Senate, and received his commission, on January 29, 1923. He served on the Court until his death, in Washington, D.C., which coincidentally occurred on the same day as that of the recently-retired Taft.

Sanford wrote 130 opinions during his seven years on the Court, including the majority opinion in Gitlow v. New York, which suggested in dicta that the free speech protections of the First Amendment applied to the states, and Okanogan Indians v. United States, which upheld the power of the President's "pocket veto".

He was also an active member of Civitan International.[2]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Mahlon Pitney
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
January 29, 1923 – March 8, 1930
Succeeded by
Owen Josephus Roberts



  1. ^ "Federal Judicial Center: Edward Terry Sanford". 2009-12-12. Retrieved 2009-12-12.  
  2. ^ Leonhart, James Chancellor (1962). The Fabulous Octogenarian. Baltimore Maryland: Redwood House, Inc.. p. 277.  


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