|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit|
June 16, 1891 –September 7, 1891
|Appointed by||operation of law|
|Preceded by||Seat established by 26 Stat. 826|
|Succeeded by||Joseph McKenna|
|Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit|
January 10, 1870 –September 7, 1891
|Appointed by||Ulysses S. Grant|
|Preceded by||Seat established by 16 Stat. 44|
|Succeeded by||Joseph McKenna|
|9th Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court|
|Preceded by||John Currey|
|Succeeded by||Augustus Rhodes|
May 23, 1820
Le Roy, New York
|Died||September 7, 1891 71) (aged|
San Francisco, California
|Education|| Case Western Reserve University |
Ohio Central College
Lorenzo Sawyer (May 23, 1820 – September 7, 1891) was an American lawyer and judge who was appointed to the Supreme Court of California in 1860 and served as the ninth Chief Justice of California from 1868 to 1870. He served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit and of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is best known for handing down the verdict in the case of Woodruff v. North Bloomfield Gravel Mining Company; his verdict is frequently referred to as the "Sawyer Decision."
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and, typically, in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers or solicitors of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury. In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate.
Sawyer was born on a farm in Le Roy, New York the eldest of six children.He worked on the farm during the summer and attended the district school in winter. At the age of fifteen he attended, for a short time, a high school at Watertown, New York, called the Black River Institute, where he became interested in the law. In 1837, having reached the age of seventeen, he went out on his own to pursue a course of study preparatory to commencing the study of law. The next eight years were devoted to preparation for the bar, at first in New York and afterward in Ohio. To support himself during this period, he taught in the district schools, and afterward in academies and as a tutor in college.
Le Roy, or more commonly LeRoy, is a town in Genesee County, New York, United States. The population was 7,641 at the 2010 census. The town is named after one of the original land owners, Herman Le Roy. The town lies on the eastern edge of Genesee County. Within the town is a village also named Le Roy.
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.
A bar association is a professional association of lawyers. Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their jurisdiction; others are professional organizations dedicated to serving their members; in many cases, they are both. In many Commonwealth jurisdictions, the bar association comprises lawyers who are qualified as barristers or advocates in particular, versus solicitors. Membership in bar associations may be mandatory or optional for practicing attorneys, depending on jurisdiction.
In 1840, Sawyer emigrated to Ohio, where he pursued his studies for a time at the Western Reserve College (now Case Western Reserve University), and afterward continued his studies at Columbus and at Ohio Central College near Columbus, graduating in 1846.He was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Ohio in May 1846. He afterward went to Chicago, Illinois, where he passed a year in the office of future California Senator James A. McDougall. Soon afterward he entered into a law partnership with the Lieutenant-Governor John Edwin Holmes at Jefferson, Wisconsin, where he was rapidly acquiring an extensive and lucrative practice, when the California Gold Rush happened.
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, and the tenth most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus. Ohio is bordered by Pennsylvania to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Lake Erie to the north, Indiana to the west, Kentucky on the south, and West Virginia on the southeast.
Case Western Reserve University is a private research university in Cleveland, Ohio. It was created in 1967 through the federation of two longstanding contiguous institutions: Western Reserve University, founded in 1826 and named for its location in the Connecticut Western Reserve, and Case Institute of Technology, founded in 1880 through the endowment of Leonard Case, Jr.. Time magazine described the merger as the creation of "Cleveland's Big-Leaguer" university.
Columbus is the state capital and the most populous city in the U.S. State of Ohio. With a population of 892,533 as of 2018 estimates, it is the 14th-most populous city in the United States and one of the fastest growing large cities in the nation. This makes Columbus the third-most populous state capital in the US and the second-most populous city in the Midwest. It is the core city of the Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses ten counties. With a population of 2,078,725, it is Ohio's second-largest metropolitan area.
Joining a company of men from Wisconsin, he made his way across the country in seventy-two days, arriving in California (until statehood on September 9, 1850, California was a part of the Mexican Cession) about the middle of July 1850 in "an unprecedentedly short trip."He wrote sketches of this trip, which were published in the Ohio Observer , and copied into many of the western papers. They were highly appreciated and were used as a guide by many emigrants of the succeeding year. After working in the mines for a short time, he went to Sacramento and opened a law office there. Ill health, however, compelled him to seek the climate of the mountains, and accordingly he moved to Nevada City and entered upon the practice of law in October of that year, his law library consisting of eleven volumes which he had brought across the plains. With the exception of a few months from February to August 1851 passed in San Francisco, during which time his office was twice burned, he remained in Nevada City until the autumn of 1853, when he returned to San Francisco. In 1853 he was elected City Attorney as a nominee of the Whig Party. In September 1854, he was again nominated for City Attorney by the Whig and American Party, or Know Nothings.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
The Mexican Cession is the region in the modern-day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. This region had not been part of the areas east of the Rio Grande which had been claimed by the Republic of Texas, though the Texas annexation resolution two years earlier had not specified the southern and western boundary of the new state of Texas. The Mexican Cession was the third-largest acquisition of territory in US history. The largest was the Louisiana Purchase, with some 827,000 sq. miles, followed by the acquisition of Alaska.
Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the seat of Sacramento County. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in Northern California's Sacramento Valley, Sacramento's estimated 2018 population of 501,334 makes it the sixth-largest city in California and the ninth largest capital in the United States. Sacramento is the seat of the California Legislature and the Governor of California, making it the state's political center and a hub for lobbying and think tanks. Sacramento is also the cultural and economic core of the Sacramento metropolitan area, which had a 2010 population of 2,414,783, making it the fifth largest in California.
In 1855, Sawyer was a candidate for Justice of the Supreme Court, and came within six votes of reaching the nomination. On March 6, 1861, he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.In the spring of 1861, he formed a law partnership with the General C. H. S. Williams, and in the winter of 1861-1862 they determined to open a branch office in Virginia City, Nevada. Sawyer went to Virginia City in January 1862 to open the office and establish the business, and while there Governor Leland Stanford of California offered him the appointment of City and County Attorney of San Francisco, which he declined. In June 1862, he was offered a vacant spot in the office of Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District, embracing the city and county of San Mateo, which he accepted, and he was unanimously reelected to office when his first term was up, both political parties giving him their support.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America, established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal and state court cases that involve a point of federal law, and original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors. The Court holds the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution. Presidential directives can be struck down by the Court for violating either the Constitution or statutory law. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The Court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide non-justiciable political questions.
Virginia City is a census-designated place (CDP) that is the county seat of Storey County, Nevada, and the largest community in the county. The city is a part of the Reno–Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Nevada is a state in the Western United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 32nd most populous, but the 9th least densely populated of the U.S. states. Nearly three-quarters of Nevada's people live in Clark County, which contains the Las Vegas–Paradise metropolitan area where three of the state's four largest incorporated cities are located. Nevada's capital is Carson City.
Upon the reorganization of the State courts, under the amended constitution, Judge Sawyer was in 1863 elected a justice of the Supreme Court of California, and drew a six-year term, during the last two years of which he was Chief Justice.During his term, he was noted for the thoroughness and elaborateness of his decisions and held in high regard.
The Supreme Court of California is the highest and final court in the courts of the State of California. It resides in the State Building in San Francisco in Civic Center overlooking Civic Center Square along with City Hall. It also holds sessions in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts.
Sawyer was nominated by President Ulysses S. Grant on December 8, 1869, to the United States Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit, to a new seat authorized by 16 Stat. 44.He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 10, 1870, and received his commission the same day. Sawyer was assigned by operation of law to additional and concurrent service on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on June 16, 1891, to a new seat authorized by 26 Stat. 826 (Evarts Act). His service terminated on September 7, 1891, due to his death.
In 1884, Sawyer handed down what became known as the Sawyer Decision in Woodruff v. North Bloomfield Mining and Gravel Company which abruptly ended hydraulic mining in Northern California's Gold Country.
In November 1885, Sawyer served as an original trustee of Leland Stanford Junior University (now Stanford University).
John Downey Works was a U.S. Senator representing California from 1911 to 1917, and an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court from October 2, 1888, to January 5, 1891.
William Henry Beatty was the 15th Chief Justice of California from 1889–1914. Previously, he was Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court from 1879–1880.
Jackson Temple was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California. He served three separate terms on the court between 1870 and 1902.
Silas Woodruff Sanderson was the seventh Chief Justice of California.
John Moore Currey was the eighth Chief Justice of California, and candidate for Governor of California in 1859.
William Thompson Wallace was the 12th Chief Justice of California and the 6th Attorney General of California. He served on the Supreme Court of California from 1871 to 1879 and as Attorney General from 1856 to 1858.
Augustus Loring Rhodes was the 10th Chief Justice of California.
Erskine Mayo Ross was an American attorney and jurist from California. He served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and of the United States Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit and previously was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California and a Justice of the Supreme Court of California.
Frank Henry Kerrigan was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He also served for nearly 30 years as a California state court judge, and was an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court from January 8, 1923, to February 11, 1924.
Nathaniel Bennett was one of the first Associate Justices of the California Supreme Court.
Walter Van Dyke was a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge and a justice of the California Supreme Court in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Thomas Bard McFarland was a miner, politician and judge in the U.S. state of California. He served as a state assemblyman, Superior Court judge, and associate justice of the Supreme Court of California.
John Randolph Sharpstein was a member of the Wisconsin State Senate and Wisconsin State Assembly, and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California.
Isaac Sawyer Belcher was an American attorney and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California from March 4, 1872, to January 5, 1874.
James Dabney Thornton was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California from January 5, 1880 to January 5, 1891.
Jeremiah Francis Sullivan was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California from November 22, 1926, to January 3, 1927.
Joseph Bryant Crockett was an American attorney who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California from December 1867 to January 5, 1880.
Oscar Lovell Shafter was an American attorney and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California from January 2, 1864, to December 11, 1867.
Ralph Chandler Harrison was an American attorney and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California from December 20, 1890, to January 5, 1903.
Alexander Van Rensselaer Paterson was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California from December 22, 1886 to May 3, 1894.
Under the constitutional provision, on October 21, 1863, Oscar L. Shafter, Lorenzo Sawyer, Silas W. Sanderson, John Curry and A. L. Rhodes were elected Supreme Court Justices. The new court organized January 2, 1864, and in accordance with law, the Judges drew lots to determine the tenure of their official terms, with the following result: Shafter drew for ten years, Rhodes for eight. Sawyer for six, Curry for four and Sanderson for two.
| Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court |
Seat established by 16 Stat. 44
|Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit |
Seat established by 26 Stat. 826
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit |