• Oregon State Representative, 1967-1970.
  • Oregon State Senator, 1971-1977.
  • Oregon Supreme Court Justice, 1982-2006.
  • Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice, 1991-2005.

About Chief Justice Carson

Wallace P. Carson was born and raised in Salem, Oregon, and graduated from Salem High School (now North Salem High School). While attending school at Stanford University, Carson was in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). After graduating Stanford University, Carson enrolled in Willamette University’s law school and graduated with his Juris Doctor in 1962. Carson then spent three years on active duty in the Air Force, and was in the armed forces for 34 years over the course of his life.

While serving in the military and working in private practice, Carson ran for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives, and served two terms there. He then was elected to the Oregon State Senate and served two terms in the senate as well. 

Following his years in the legislature, Carson was appointed to the Marion County Circuit Court by Governor Robert W. Straub in 1977. Governor Vic Atiyeh appointed him to a position on the Oregon Supreme Court in 1982. Carson’s fellow justices chose him to serve as chief justice from 1991-2005. Carson is the longest serving Chief Justice in Oregon’s history.

You can help preserve history

When you donate to the Capitol Foundation or purchase Pacific Wonderland license plates for your car, you help create a living history of our Capitol and its history. Your support funds programs such as our oral history project. This program gives students, history buffs and our state’s future leaders an opportunity to learn about Oregon’s most important stories from the people who made it happen. Thank you!