Rufus Wheeler Peckham Photo

Rufus Wheeler Peckham

Born: Nov 8, 1838

Death: Oct 24, 1909

Birthplace: Albany

Profession: Lawyer

Nationality: United States

Rufus Wheeler Peckham

Date of Birth : Nov 8, 1838
Date of Death : Oct 24, 1909
Birth Place : Albany

Rufus Wheeler Peckham was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1895 until 1909. He was known for his strong use of substantive due process to invalidate regulations of business and property. Peckham's namesake father was also a lawyer and judge, and a congressman. His older brother, Wheeler Hazard Peckham, was one of the lawyers who prosecuted Boss Tweed, and a failed nominee to the Supreme Court. His other brother, Joseph Henry, died at the age of 17. Peckham was born in Albany, New York, to Rufus Wheeler Peckham and Isabella Adeline; his mother died when he was only nine. Following his graduation from The Albany Academy, he followed in his father's footsteps as a lawyer, being admitted to the bar in Albany in 1859 after teaching himself law by studying in his father's office. After a decade of private practice, Peckham served as the Albany district attorney from 1869 from 1872. Peckham then returned to private legal practice and served as counsel to the City of Albany, until being elected as a trial judge on the New York Supreme Court in 1883. In 1886, Peckham was elected to the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state.


  • Lawyer
  • Judge

Also known as

  • Judge Rufus Wheeler Peckham
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