Category Archives: This Day In Supreme Court History

This Day in Supreme Court History—January 7, 1972

On this day in 1972, Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist were sworn in as the 99th and 100th members of the Supreme Court. They filled vacancies that had been created several months earlier when Justices Hugo Black and John Harlan retired. Both had fading health. Justice Black retired on September 17, 1971, and died just … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—January 7, 1972

This Day in Supreme Court History—November 18, 1811

On this day in 1811, the Senate confirmed, by voice vote, two of President James Madison’s nominees to the Supreme Court, Joseph Story and Gabriel Duvall. [Joseph Story] At 32, Story was the youngest Supreme Court appointee in history. The two men received their commissions that same day. (Once they arrived at the Court, Duvall … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—November 18, 1811

This Day in Supreme Court History—November 5, 1987

On this day in 1987, President Ronald Reagan’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Douglas H. Ginsburg, admitted to using marijuana while he was a student at Cornell University and as a professor at Harvard Law School. Ginsburg’s admission would end his chance to occupy the seat that had opened when Justice Lewis Powell had announced … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—November 5, 1987

This Day in Supreme Court History — October 27, 2005

On this day in 2005, Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court. George W. Bush had nominated Miers to replace the retiring Sandra Day O’Connor. According to NPR, conservatives had publicly expressed displeasure with her lack of judicial experience and concern that she might not be as pro-life as they would like. And … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History — October 27, 2005

This Day in Supreme Court History—October 20, 1890

On this day in 1890, Justice Sherman Minton was born in Georgetown, Indiana. From early in life, Minton seemed to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Among his law school classmates at Indiana University was Wendell Willkie, the Republican ran unsuccessfully against  Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—October 20, 1890

On This Day in Supreme Court History—October 15, 1991

On this day in 1991, the Senate confirmed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Thomas, who President George H.W. Bush nominated for the seat that opened after the retirement of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, experienced one of the most contentious confirmation processes in American history. Critics of Thomas’ conservative record … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—October 15, 1991

On This Day in Supreme Court History—October 7, 1935

On this day in 1935, the Supreme Court moved into its current home on First Street in Washington, D.C. “After years of moving about and occupying ‘borrowed’ quarters,” read one news account of the day, “the Supreme Court at last has a home of its own—a home which reflects the dignity and prestige of the … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—October 7, 1935

This Day in Supreme Court History—September 29, 1958

On this day in 1958, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Cooper v. Aaron, a case involving efforts to desegregate schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. The situation in Little Rock had escalated from a local struggle over whether black children would be allowed to attend a previously all-white high school into a national constitutional … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—September 29, 1958

This Day in Supreme Court History—August 24, 1814

On this day in 1814 the Supreme Court was torched by British troops. The United States was at war with Britain in what became known as the War of 1812. At the time, the Supreme Court chamber was on the first floor of the north wing of the Capitol building. It had been located here, … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—August 24, 1814

This Day in Supreme Court History—July 24, 1974

On this day in 1974, the Supreme Court decided United States v. Nixon, a ruling that played a key role in President Richard Nixon’s resignation from office. The justices issued their decision just sixteen days after hearing oral arguments in the case. The President, they held, could not cite executive privilege as a reason for … Continue reading This Day in Supreme Court History—July 24, 1974