Category Archives: History of the Court

On this day in Supreme Court History—April 10, 1869: Getting to Nine

On this day in 1869, Congress increased the number of justices on the Supreme Court from seven to nine—where it has remained ever since. (Whether the number should remain at nine has been a point of renewed attention in recent months.) In 1866, Congress had reduced the number of Supreme Court justices to seven. Republicans … Continue reading On this day in Supreme Court History—April 10, 1869: Getting to Nine

On this day in Supreme Court History—March 3, 1801: The Midnight Judges

On this date in 1801, John Marshall—at the time simultaneously serving as President John Adams’s Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the United States—signed the commissions of the “midnight judges,” setting in motion events that would lead to the landmark Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison. The ruling, written by none other than Chief … Continue reading On this day in Supreme Court History—March 3, 1801: The Midnight Judges

On this day in Supreme Court History—February 18, 1988: Justice Anthony Kennedy Takes the Oath of Office

On this day in 1988, Justice Anthony Kennedy was sworn in as the 104th Justice of the Supreme Court. President Ronald Reagan nominated Kennedy as an Associate Justice on November 12, 1987. Kennedy was Reagan’s third attempt to fill the seat of Justice Lewis Powell, who had retired the previous June. Reagan’s first two nominations … Continue reading On this day in Supreme Court History—February 18, 1988: Justice Anthony Kennedy Takes the Oath of Office

On this day in Supreme Court History—February 15, 1932: Benjamin Cardozo Nominated to the Supreme Court

On this day in 1932, President Herbert Hoover nominated Benjamin Cardozo to the Supreme Court. Hoover, a Republican, nominated Cardozo, a Democrat, to replace Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who had retired at age 90. Although Cardozo was a Democrat, he had support from across the political spectrum. Cardozo had served for 18 years on the … Continue reading On this day in Supreme Court History—February 15, 1932: Benjamin Cardozo Nominated to the Supreme Court

On this day in Supreme Court History—December 10, 1862: Justice Davis takes the oath of office

On this day in 1862, Justice David Davis took his oath of office. David Davis was born March 9, 1815, in Cecil County, Maryland. He moved to Illinois, where he became a state representative in 1845 and then a State Circuit Judge from 1848 to 1862. During this time he formed a friendship with Abraham … Continue reading On this day in Supreme Court History—December 10, 1862: Justice Davis takes the oath of office

On This Day in Supreme Court History—November 28, 1872—Justice Nelson Retired from the Court

On this day in 1872, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Nelson retired from the Court. Nelson was born on a farm in New York in 1792. After graduating from Middlebury College in 1813, he clerked and eventually became a partner at a law firm. He was also active in the Democratic-Republican Party.  At the age of … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—November 28, 1872—Justice Nelson Retired from the Court

On This Day in Supreme Court History—November 15, 1882

On this day in 1882, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter was born in Vienna, Austria. At the age of twelve, he moved to New York’s lower east side with his parents and five siblings. Despite not learning English until he came to the United States, he soon became an exceptional student. He graduated first in … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—November 15, 1882

Birthright Citizenship, the President, and the Supreme Court

Last week, President Donald Trump declared his intent to use an executive order to limit the right of birthright citizenship. The principle that anyone born on American soil is a citizen of the United States is based in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1868. The Amendment opens with the declaration, … Continue reading Birthright Citizenship, the President, and the Supreme Court

Primer on Types of Filings in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has a break from argument and from its scheduled Conferences for the next week or two. The Court is scheduled to release orders again on October 29, and on the same day will hear arguments in Henry Schein Inc. v. Archer and White Sales Inc.and Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela. In the … Continue reading Primer on Types of Filings in the Supreme Court