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Blair, John (1732–1800)

BLAIR, JOHN (1732–1800)

John Blair was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses when the american revolution began. In 1776, as a delegate to the state constitutional convention, he served on the committee that drafted the virginia declaration of rights and the virginia constitution. In 1777 he was appointed a judge, and in 1780 he became chancellor of Virginia. As a justice of the Court of Appeals he joined in deciding commonwealth v. caton (1782). He was a delegate to both the constitutional convention of 1787—at which he never made a speech—and the Virginia ratifying convention. In 1789 President george washington appointed him one of the original Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. He served on the Supreme Court until 1796, a period during which the Court handed down few important decisions. In the most noteworthy, Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), Blair joined in the decision to hear a case brought against a state by a citizen of another state, arguing that to refuse to do so would be to "renounce part of the authority conferred, and, consequently part of the duty imposed by the Constitution."

Dennis J. Mahoney


Rossiter, Clinton 1966 1787: The Grand Convention. New York: Macmillan.

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