John McKinley (May 1, 1780 – July 19, 1852) was a U.S. Senator from the state of Alabama and an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Born in Culpeper County, Virginia, his family moved to Kentucky when he was an infant. In that state he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1800, practicing in Frankfort and Louisville from 1800 to 1819 before moving to Huntsville, Alabama.
After serving in the Alabama House of Representatives, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, serving his first term from November 27, 1826 to March 3, 1831, being elected to fill out the rest of the term of Henry H. Chambers. Israel Pickens served as interim senator until McKinley was elected. He was reelected to the Senate, but served only from March 4, 1837 until his abrupt resignation on April 22 of that same year. McKinley received a recess appointment from President Martin Van Buren on April 22, 1837, to a newly created seat (one of two which had been created by Congress – 5 Stat. 176) on the Supreme Court. Formally nominated on September 18, 1837, McKinley was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 25, 1837, and received his commission the same day. There was no interim senator this time, and Clement C. Clay was elected to the post. McKinley served on the Supreme Court for fourteen years. He died in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 19, 1852, at the age of 72.
The community of McKinley, Alabama is named in his honor...
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