Horace Harmon Lurton - Supreme Court Service

Supreme Court Service

In 1909, Lurton's friend, President William Howard Taft, named him to a seat on the Supreme Court that had been vacated by the death of Justice Rufus Wheeler Peckham. This was the first of Taft's six Supreme Court appointments, and surprised some observers because unlike Taft, Lurton was a Democrat.

Lurton sided most frequently on the court with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., a progressive Supreme Court justice.

Lurton took his seat on the Court at the beginning of 1910. His tenure on the Court was brief, as he served only four years before dying in Atlantic City, New Jersey of a sudden heart attack, in 1914. According to his obituary in the New York Times (July 13, 1914, p. 1), he had been in poor health since the previous December, suffering from asthma and then pneumonia.

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