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Edward Douglass White

White, Edward Douglass, 1845–1921, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1894–1910), 9th chief justice of the United States (1910–21), b. Lafourche parish, La. He attended the Jesuit College in New Orleans and Georgetown College (now Georgetown Univ.), Washington, D.C. After service in the Confederate army he practiced law. White became (1879) judge of the Louisiana supreme court and served (1891–94) in the U.S. Senate until he was appointed (1894) associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by President Cleveland. Made chief justice by President Taft, White—the first Southerner since Roger Taney to head the Supreme Court—was generally a conservative on the bench. He wrote the "rule of reason" decisions, which differentiated between legal and illegal business combinations, in the antitrust cases against the American Tobacco Company and the Standard Oil Company in 1911. In 1916 he wrote the decision upholding the constitutionality of the Adamson Act, which established an eight-hour day for railroad workers.

See biographies by M. C. C. Klinkhamer (1943) and G. Hagemann (1962).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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