The legislature declined to re-elect him when his term expired in 1823. He was narrowly chosen senator in 1826 and was again replaced in 1831. Smith was one of the first Southerners to argue, at the time of the Missouri Compromise in 1820, that slavery was a positive good.
Nevertheless, he opposed John C. Calhoun"s doctrine and tactic of nullification.
In 1828, seven electors from Georgia chose him for vice president, instead of Calhoun, the Democratic nominee. He was also a splinter candidate for vice president in 1836: Virginia refused to accept Richard Mentor Johnson as the Democratic vice presidential candidate, and voted for the ticket of Martin Van Buren and William Smith, putting Johnson two electoral votes short of a majority.
The Senate chose Johnson. In 1832, he moved to Louisiana, having lost his political base in South Carolina.
In 1836, he moved on to Huntsville, Alabama, and was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives for Madison County from August 1, 1836, holding that seat for the rest of his life.
On March 3, 1837, outgoing President Andrew Jackson nominated Smith to the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed Smith"s nomination by a vote of 23–18. Nevertheless, Smith declined to serve.
Democratic-Republican Party, Democratic Party.
Member United States House Member South Carolina. Senate, 1802-1808, president, 1806.
Member United States Senate (Democrat) from South Carolina., 1816-1823, 26-31, twice elected president pro tem, delivered his most important speech in Missouri debates, 1820, defended Southern
Member South Carolina. Ho; member South Carolina.
Senate, 1831. Member lower house Alabama
Married Margaret Duff, 1781, 1 child.