Before the Judicature Act the king's bench and the common pleas were each presided over by a lord chief justice, and the lord chief justice of the king's bench was nominal head of all the three courts, and held the title of lord chief justice of England.
The court house (x818) stands on the site of the old court house, in which Governor George Clinton was inaugurated in July 1777, and in which Chief Justice John Jay held the first term of the New York Supreme Court in September 1777.
The judicial department consists of a supreme court with a chief justice and two associate justices, chosen for six years, and district courts, with judges chosen for four years.
The administration of justice is entrusted to a supreme court, a continually increasing number of circuit courts (thirty-eight in 1909), one probate court in each county, and not exceeding four justices of the peace in each township. The supreme court is composed of one chief justice and seven associate justices, all elected for a term of ten years, not more than two retiring every two years; it holds four sessions annually, exercises a general control over the inferior courts, may issue, hear and determine any of the more important writs, and has appellate jurisdiction only in all other important cases.
In 1873 President Grant nominated him for chief justice of the United States, but in spite of his great learning and eminence at the bar, his ante-war record and the feeling of distrust experienced by many members of the senate on account of his inconsistency, aroused such vigorous opposition that his nomination was soon withdrawn.
That is John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States.
De Villiers, chief justice of Cape Colony, while President Brand of the Orange Free State gave the commission the benefit of his advice.
A merchant named Cony refused to pay customs not imposed by parliament, his counsel declaring their levy by ordinance to be contrary to Magna Carta, and Chief Justice Rolle resigning in order to avoid giving judgment.
Hubert de Burgh, Chief Justice of England, fled for sanctuary when first apprised of the King's displeasure.
The chief justice takes rank next after the president, and he administers the oath on the inauguration of a new president and vice-president.