Paterson, William

Paterson, William (1745-1806) Signer of the Constitution, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: William Paterson was born in County Antrim, Ireland, on December 24, 1745. After moving to North America, he attended the College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton), then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1769. He served as a member of the New Jersey Provincial Congress (1775-76); a delegate to the state constitutional convention (1776); a state Senator (1776-77) and New Jersey Attorney-General. One of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention (1787); he introduced the "New Jersey Plan, " which led to the establishment of the US Senate. Paterson was one of the signers of the Constitution, and supported its ratification. Paterson was elected to the US Senate as a Federalist in 1789, and was a co-author of the Judicial Act of 1789. Elected Governor of New Jersey in 1790, he resigned his position as Senator and was Governor until 1793. While serving as Governor, he put together the "Laws of the State of New Jersey," and rewriting the rules of the common law and chancery courts. In 1793, President Washington appointed him an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court. In that position, Paterson worked to enforce the 1798 Sedition Law, and declared the repeal of the 1801 Judiciary Act unconstitutional. He remained on the Court until his death on September 9, 1806.