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Tue Dec 20, 2022, 07:59 PM

George Washington had a SCOTUS nomination rejected in 1795

John Jay resigned as Chief Justice on June 29, 1795, after being elected Governor of New York. The subsequent nomination of John Rutledge as Chief Justice was rejected by a vote of 1014 on December 15, 1795. Rutledge's strident and vocal opposition to the Jay Treaty may have been the main reason for his rejection. Because he had been a recess appointment, Rutledge served as Chief Justice for one term.[6]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsuccessful_nominations_to_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States


Associate Justice

On September 24, 1789, George Washington nominated Rutledge for one of the five associate justice positions on the newly established Supreme Court. His appointment (along with those of: John Blair Jr., William Cushing, Robert H. Harrison, and James Wilson; plus that of John Jay for Chief Justice) was confirmed by the Senate two days later.[33] His service on the Court officially began February 15, 1790, when he took the judicial oath, and continued until March 5, 1791.[1] Rutledge resigned from the Supreme Court, without having ever heard a case, in order to become chief justice of the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas and Sessions.[34][35]


Chief Justice

Further information: Rutledge Court

Bust of John Rutledge in the United States Supreme Court
On June 28, 1795, Chief Justice John Jay resigned, having been elected governor of New York. Washington selected Rutledge to succeed Jay as chief justice, and, as the Senate would not be meeting again until December, gave Rutledge a recess appointment so that he could serve as chief justice during the upcoming August session. He was commissioned as chief justice on June 30, 1795,[36] and took the judicial oath on August 12.[1]

On July 16, 1795, Rutledge gave a highly controversial speech denouncing the Jay Treaty with Great Britain. He reportedly said in the speech "that he had rather the President should die than sign that puerile instrument" and that he "preferred war to an adoption of it."[37] Rutledge's speech against the Jay Treaty cost him the support of many in the Washington administration, which supported the treaty, and in the Senate, which would soon be called upon to advise the president on his nomination of Rutledge to the judicial post and to consent to its ratification by a two-thirds vote.

Two cases were decided while Rutledge was chief justice.[citation needed] In United States v. Peters, the Court ruled that federal district courts had no jurisdiction over crimes committed against Americans in international waters. In Talbot v. Janson, the Court held that a citizen of the United States did not waive all claims to U.S. citizenship by either renouncing citizenship of an individual state or by becoming a citizen of another country. The Rutledge Court thus established an important precedent for multiple citizenship in the United States.

By the time of his formal nomination to the Court on December 10, 1795, Rutledge's reputation was in tatters, and support for his nomination had faded. Rumors of mental illness and alcohol abuse swirled around him, concocted largely by the Federalist press. His words and actions in response to the Jay Treaty were used as evidence of his continued mental decline.[35] The Senate rejected his appointment on December 15, 1795, by a vote of 1014.[33] Altogether, 9 Democratic-Republicans and 1 Federalist voted in favor of confirmation, while 14 Federalists voted against it; additionally, 5 Federalists and 1 Democratic-Republican did not vote.[38] This was the first time that the Senate had voted down a Supreme Court nomination. As of 2022; it remains the only U.S. Supreme Court recess appointment to be subsequently rejected by the Senate.[35][39] Though the Senate remained in session through June 1, 1796, which would have been the automatic end of Rutledge's commission following the rejection, Rutledge resigned from the Court two days later, on December 28, 1795. He served the briefest tenure of any Chief Justice of the United States (138 days).[40]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rutledge#Supreme_Court_tenure

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