Category Archives: This Day In Supreme Court History

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

On This Day in Supreme Court History—October 6, 1991

On this day in 1991, National Public Radio first broke the story of Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.   After graduating from Yale Law School, Hill worked as special counsel to Thomas, who was then head of the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—October 6, 1991

On This Day in Supreme Court History—September 26, 1986

On this day in 1986, Antonin Scalia was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. At the same ceremony, William Rehnquist was sworn in as the sixteenth Chief Justice of the United States. President Ronald Reagan used the occasion to praise the two men for their commitment to “judicial constraint.” … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—September 26, 1986

On This Day in Supreme Court History—March 17, 1954

On this day in 1954, William Brennan gave a speech that cost him a unanimous vote in the Senate when he was later nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Brennan, then a judge on the New Jersey Supreme Court, spoke at the St. Patrick’s Day dinner of the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. He chose … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—March 17, 1954

On This Day in Supreme Court History—February 11, 1943

On this day in 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Wiley B. Rutledge to the Supreme Court. Rutledge was President Roosevelt’s eighth and final appointee to the Court. At the time of his appointment, he had been serving on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1939. The Senate confirmed … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—February 11, 1943

On This Day in Supreme Court History—February 10, 1937

On this day in 1937, Bishop William Manning, head of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of New York, gave a rather unusual Ash Wednesday sermon. His topic: President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s proposal to expand the Supreme Court. When Roosevelt announced his controversial “court-packing” plan (as its critics dubbed it) several days earlier, he framed it as … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—February 10, 1937

On This Day in Supreme Court History—February 5, 1813

On this day in 1813, the Supreme Court decided Mima Queen v. Hepburn, an appeal of a suit of an enslaved woman who claimed her freedom. The Court rejected her appeal, holding that the hearsay evidence Mima Queen relied on to establish that her great grandmother was a free woman of color who was wrongly … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—February 5, 1813

On This Day in Supreme Court History—January 26, 1898

On this day in 1898, Justice Joseph McKenna took his oath of office to serve on the Supreme Court. President William McKinley nominated McKenna to the Court on December 16, 1897, to fill the seat of Justice Stephen J. Field, who had retired. McKenna was serving as President McKinley’s Attorney General at the time. The … Continue reading On This Day in Supreme Court History—January 26, 1898