The Father of Our Country as Court-Packer-in-Chief: George Washington and the Supreme Court
HENRY J. ABRAHAM AND BARBARA A. PERRY
It has long been accepted as an article of faith that the title of ‘‘Champion Supreme Court Packer’’ belongs to President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933– 1945), for he appointed 9 members of the august tribunal between 1937 and 1943. Yet it was not our only four-times-elected president but the very first president of the fledgling United States, George Washington, who holds that record. In a seven-year period (1789–1796), he nominated fully 14 individuals to the Court, of whom 11 actually served (one, Rutledge, on an ultimately unsuccessful recess basis as chief justice for four months). In order of their nomination by the chief executive, they were:
|1. John Jay, as chief justice (1789) |
|2. John Rutledge, as associate justice (1789) |
|3. William Cushing, as associate justice (1789) |
|4. Robert H. Harrison, as associate justice (1789)—refused to serve after confirmation |
|5. James Wilson, as associate justice (1789) |
|6. John Blair, as associate justice (1789) |
|7. James Iredell, as associate justice (1789) |
|8. Thomas Johnson, as associate justice (1791) |
|9. William Paterson, as associate justice (1793)—nomination withdrawn but resubmitted later |
|10. William Paterson (again), as associate justice (1793) |
|11. John Rutledge, now as chief justice (1795) |
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: George Washington and the Origins of the American Presidency.
Contributors: Mark J. Rozell - Author, William D. Pederson - Author, Frank J. Williams - Author.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 2000.
Page number: 135.
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