Associate Justice Nelson participated in important Supreme Court cases dealing with slavery and the Civil War.
Nelson began practicing law in 1817. He served as a state judge in New York from 1823 to 1831, when he was appointed to the state supreme court. He was nominated to the Supreme Court by President John Tyler in 1845 and quickly approved by the Senate.
Nelson was an authority on international law, maritime law, and patent law. He wrote hundreds of opinions for the Court, often dealing with technical aspects. His opinion in Scott v. Sandford
In the Prize Cases
Milligan, Ex parte
Scott v. Sandford
Taney, Roger Brooke