John Blair (1732-1800)

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John Blair (1732-1800) was an American politician, Founding Father, and Patriot. Blair was one of the best-trained jurists of his day. A legal scholar, he avoided the hurly-burly of state politics, preferring to work behind the scenes. But he was devoted to the idea of a permanent union of the newly independent states and loyally supported fellow Virginians James Madison and George Washington at the Constitutional Convention. He was one of the 29 signers of the U.S. Constitution. His greatest contribution as a Founding Father came not in Philadelphia, but later as a judge on the Virginia court of appeals and on the U.S. Supreme Court, where he influenced the interpretation of the Constitution in a number of important decisions. Contemporaries praised Blair for such personal strengths as gentleness and benevolence, and for his ability to penetrate immediately to the heart of a legal question.

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