Lorenzo Sawyer

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Lorenzo Sawyer
Lorenzo Sawyer.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
In office
June 16, 1891 September 7, 1891
Appointed by operation of law
Preceded bySeat established by 26 Stat. 826
Succeeded by Joseph McKenna
Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit
In office
January 10, 1870 September 7, 1891
Appointed by Ulysses S. Grant
Preceded bySeat established by 16 Stat. 44
Succeeded by Joseph McKenna
9th Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court
In office
1868–1870
Preceded by John Currey
Succeeded by Augustus Rhodes
Personal details
Born
Lorenzo Sawyer

(1820-05-23)May 23, 1820
Le Roy, New York
DiedSeptember 7, 1891(1891-09-07) (aged 71)
San Francisco, California
Education Case Western Reserve University
Ohio Central College
read law

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."

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Contents

Early years

Sawyer was born on a farm in Le Roy, New York the eldest of six children. [1] 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. [2] 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. [3] 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. [4]

Le Roy, New York Town in New York, United States

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 (state) American state

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.

Career

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. [5] 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. [4]

Ohio U.S. state in the United States

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 Private research university in Cleveland, Ohio

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, Ohio Capital of Ohio

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." [6] 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. [7] [4] In September 1854, he was again nominated for City Attorney by the Whig and American Party, or Know Nothings. [8]

California U.S. state in the United States

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.

Mexican Cession Land US gained in Mexican-American War

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, California State capital and city of California, United States

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. [9] 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. [10] [4]

Supreme Court of the United States Highest court in the United States

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, Nevada Census-designated place in Nevada, United States

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 U.S. state in the United States

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. [11] [12] [13] During his term, he was noted for the thoroughness and elaborateness of his decisions and held in high regard. [4]

Supreme Court of California the highest court in the U.S. state of California

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.

Federal judicial service

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. [14] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 10, 1870, and received his commission the same day. [15] [16] 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). [15] His service terminated on September 7, 1891, due to his death. [15] [17] [4]

Sawyer decision

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. [18]

Civic activities

In November 1885, Sawyer served as an original trustee of Leland Stanford Junior University (now Stanford University). [19]

See also

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References

  1. Johnson, J. Edward (1963). History of the California Supreme Court: The Justices 1850-1900, vol 1 (PDF). San Francisco, CA: Bender Moss Co. pp. 95–97. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  2. "Judge Sawyer Dead". San Francisco Call (70 (100)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 8 September 1891. p. 1. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  3. "Judge Sawyer Dead". Los Angeles Herald (36 (142)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 8 September 1891. p. 1. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "LORENZO SAWYER". The Bay of San Francisco. 1. Lewis Publishing Co. 1892. pp. 652–54.
  5. "Collegemates Reunion". Daily Ohio Statesman. Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. December 19, 1867. p. 3. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  6. Shuck, Oscar Tully (1889). "Chapter 7". Bench and Bar in California: History, Anecdotes, Reminiscences. Occident Printing House. p. 67.
  7. "Whig State Convention— Third Day". Sacramento Daily Union (5 (715)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 9 July 1853. p. 2. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  8. "The Know-Nothing Nominations". Daily Alta California (5 (243)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 2 September 1854. p. 8. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  9. "Supreme Court of the United States, March 6". The New York Herald. Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. March 11, 1861. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  10. "Judge Sawyer". Sacramento Daily Union (82 (16)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 9 September 1891. p. 2. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  11. "Chief Justices of California". The California Supreme Court Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  12. "The Supreme Court". San Francisco Call. Library of Congress, Chronicling America. June 22, 1895. p. 5. Retrieved July 18, 2017. 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.
  13. "State Government, Judicial Department, Supreme Court". Sacramento Daily Union (26 (3988)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 1 January 1864. p. 1. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  14. "Washington. The Nomination for Circuit Judges". New-York Tribune. Library of Congress Historic Newspaper. December 9, 1869. p. 1. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  15. 1 2 3 "Bio of Lorenzo Sawyer". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  16. "News of the Day". Alexandria Gazette. Library of Congress Historic Newspapers. January 11, 1870. p. 2. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  17. "Judge Lorenzo Sawyer". Sacramento Daily Union (82 (15)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 8 September 1891. p. 5. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  18. "North Bloomfield and Malakoff Diggins". Sierra Nevada Virtual Museum. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  19. "Leland Stanford Jr. University". Sonoma Democrat (6). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 28 November 1885. p. 1. Retrieved August 15, 2017.

Sources

Legal offices
Preceded by
John Currey
Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court
1868–1870
Succeeded by
Augustus Rhodes
Preceded by
Seat established by 16 Stat. 44
Judge of the United States Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit
1870–1891
Succeeded by
Joseph McKenna
Preceded by
Seat established by 26 Stat. 826
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
1891
Succeeded by
Joseph McKenna