On December 26, 1952, Oregon Governor Douglas McKay appointed Perry to the Oregon Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the death of Arthur Hay, who had died on December 19. McKay resigned as governor the following day. Then in 1954 Perry won election to a full six-year term followed by re-election in 1960 and 1966. During his tenure on Oregon’s highest court, he was selected to serve as chief justice twice. First in 1957 until 1959, and then from 1967 to 1970. Justice Perry then resigned from the court on June 1, 1970.
One of Justice Perry’s law clerks while he was Chief Justice was Jack Gore Collins, who later was the assistant U.S. Attorney who signed the indictment for skyjacker D.B. Cooper just prior to the statute of limitations running out in 1976. Another clerk, Ken Morrow, was a high profile defense attorney in Oregon.
After retiring from the bench, Perry served as Chair of the Natural Resources section at the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association in 1974.
( We were unable to find a photo of William C. Perry. If you have one, let us know. )