The first three judges appointed were William Cranch, Thomas Johnson (who refused to serve), and James Marshall (brother of Chief Justice John Marshall), in 1801. Buckner Thruston, a former U.S. Senator, was appointed in 1809, and James Morsell joined in 1815.

Cranch, Thruston, and Morsell sat together from 1815 until Cranch’s retirement in 1855. The three served for a combined 108 years. Cranch alone served for 54, including 49 as Chief Judge.

The original four justices of the
Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.
Left to Right:
Justice Andrew Wylie, Chief Justice
David Cartter, Justice Abram Olin,
and Justice George Fisher.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia (ca. 1939)
Standing:
Judge Henry Edgerton*, Judge Fred
Vinson, Judge Wiley Rutledge
Seated:
Judge Harold Stephens*, Chief Judge
D. Lawrence Groner, Judge Justin Miller
(*would later serve as Chief Judge)

Return to Timeline