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A Constitutional History of the U.S. Supreme Court

Copyright Date: 2015
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    A Constitutional History of the U.S. Supreme Court
    Book Description:

    The Supreme Court’s decisions concerning the first amendment are hotly debated, and the controversy shows no signs of abating as additional cases come before the court. Adding much-needed historical and philosophical background to the discussion, Richard J. Regan reconsiders some of the most important Supreme Court cases regarding the establishment clause and the free exercise of religion.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2722-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. 1 THE FEDERALIST COURT (1789–1800)
    (pp. 1-11)

    Article III, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution established the Supreme Court but did not specify the number of justices. The Judiciary Act of 1789 authorized six justices; President Washington nominated a chief justice and five associate justices on September 24, 1789, and the U.S. Senate confirmed them two days later. They were Chief Justice John Jay and Associated Justices John Rutledge, William Cushing, James Wilson, John Blair Jr., and Robert Harrison. Harrison, however, declined the appointment in January 1790 because of ill health. (He died on April 20 of that year.) On February 9, 1790, Washington nominated James Iredell...

  5. 2 THE MARSHALL COURT (1801–35)
    (pp. 12-25)

    William Johnson Justice Moore resigned in March 1804, and President Jefferson nominated William Johnson, a Protestant and a Democrat-Republican, to the court on March 22; the Senate confirmed him two days later. Johnson was born on December 17, 1771, in Charleston, South Carolina. His father, William, was a prominent leader in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. He attended Princeton College, studied law under Charles Pinckney, and was admitted to the bar in 1793.

    He served in the South Carolina legislature for four years (1794–98), was speaker of its house for two years (1796–98), and was a justice...

  6. 3 THE TANEY COURT (1836–64)
    (pp. 26-44)

    Justice Duvall resigned from the court in January 1835, and Chief Justice Marshall died on July 6, 1835. There remained on the court two Democrat-Republican associate justices (Story and Thompson) appointed by Presidents Madison and Monroe, respectively, and three Democrats (Baldwin, McLean, and Wayne) appointed by President Jackson. Four of the justices (Baldwin, McLean, Story, and Thompson) were from Northern states, and one (Wayne) was from the South. Only one (McLean) was from a state west of the original thirteen states (Ohio).

    Roger Brook Taney To replace Marshall, Jackson picked a loyal supporter, Roger Brooke Taney. Jackson nominated him on...

    (pp. 45-60)

    Salmon Chase When Taney died on October 12, 1864, Lincoln had the opportunity to make his fifth appointment, this time the chief justice. He nominated his former secretary of the treasury, Salmon Chase, on December 6, and the Senate confirmed Chase on the same day. Chase, a Republican (formerly a Whig) and an Episcopalian, was born in Concord, New Hampshire, on January 13, 1808. His father, Ithamar, was a farmer and a tavern keeper. He attended a district grade school, was partially educated by his uncle Philander, the first Episcopalian bishop of Ohio, and attended Dartmouth College in 1826. He...

  8. 5 THE FULLER COURT (1888–1910)
    (pp. 61-77)

    Melville Fuller Waite died on March 23, 1888; President Cleveland nominated Melville Fuller to be chief justice on April 30, and the Senate confirmed Fuller on July 20. Fuller, a Democrat and an Episcopalian, was born in Augusta, Maine, on February 11, 1833. His father, Frederick, was a lawyer. Fuller graduated from Bowdoin College in 1853 and received a master’s degree from the college in 1856. He studied law under George Weston, his mother’s brother, attended lectures at Harvard Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1855. He was twice married. He moved to Illinois in 1856. He...

  9. 6 THE WHITE AND TAFT COURTS (1910–30)
    (pp. 78-98)

    Edward White Fuller died on July 4, 1910, and President Taft nominated associate justice Edward White to be chief justice on December 12; White was the first associate justice to be named to that post. The Senate confirmed White on the same day. He served as chief justice until his death on May 19, 1921.

    Willis Van Devanter To replace White as associate justice, Taft nominated Willis Van Devanter on December 12, and the Senate confirmed him on December 15. Van Devanter, a Republican and a Protestant, was born in Marion, Indiana, on April 17, 1853. His father, Isaac, was...

  10. 7 THE HUGHES COURT (1930–41)
    (pp. 99-120)

    Charles Evans Hughes Chief Justice Taft resigned on February 3, 1930, and President Hoover nominated Charles Evans Hughes to the court on the same day; the Senate confirmed Hughes on February 13 over some opposition based on his private practice with business clients. He had served as secretary of state for four years (1921–25). He served as chief justice until his retirement on January 2, 1941, and died on August 27, 1948.

    Owen Roberts Sanford died on March 8, 1930; Hoover nominated John Parker, a judge on a federal court of appeals, on March 21, but the Senate rejected...

    (pp. 121-138)

    Harlan Fiske Stone Hughes retired on June 2, 1941, and President Roosevelt nominated Stone to be chief justice on June 12; the Senate confirmed Stone on June 23. He served as chief justice until his death. Stone’s tenure was marked by considerable friction of the court personnel.

    James Byrnes To replace McReynolds, who retired on February 1, 1941, Roosevelt nominated James Byrnes on June 12, 1941, and the Senate confirmed Byrnes on the same day. Byrnes, a Democrat and a Protestant, was born on May 2, 1879, in Charleston, South Carolina. His father, James, died before Byrnes was born; his...

  12. 9 THE WARREN COURT (1953–69)
    (pp. 139-170)

    Earl Warren Vinson died on September 8, 1953, and President Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren to be chief justice by a recess appointment on October 2 and nominated him to the permanent post on January 11, 1954; the Senate confirmed Warren on March 1. Warren, a Republican and a Protestant, was born on March 19, 1891, in Los Angeles, California. His father, Mathias, was a workman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Warren graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1912 and from its law school in 1914. He was admitted to the California bar in 1914 and served as...

  13. 10 THE BURGER COURT (1969–86)
    (pp. 171-210)

    Warren Burger After President Johnson, on October 4, 1968, withdrew the nomination of Fortas to be chief justice, the president made no new nomination and left the appointment to his successor, President Nixon. Nixon nominated Warren Burger to the post on May 21, 1969, and the Senate confirmed him on June 9. Burger, a Republican and a Protestant, was born on September 17, 1907, in St. Paul, Minnesota. His father, Charles, was a rail cargo inspector and traveling salesman. Burger attended college at the University of Minnesota for two years (1925–27) and graduated from Mitchell College of Law in...

  14. 11 THE REHNQUIST COURT (1986–2005)
    (pp. 211-271)

    William Rehnquist When Burger indicated that he would resign after his successor was confirmed, President Reagan nominated Associate Justice William Rehnquist to be chief justice on June 17, 1986, and the Senate confirmed Rehnquist on September 17. Burger formally resigned on September 26, and Rehnquist was sworn in as chief justice. He served in that capacity until his death on September 3, 2005.

    Antonin Scalia To replace Rehnquist as associate justice, Reagan, also on June 17, 1986, nominated Antonin Scalia, and the Senate confirmed Scalia on September 17. Scalia, a Republican and a Catholic, was born on March 11, 1936,...

  15. 12 THE ROBERTS COURT (2005–)
    (pp. 272-334)

    John Roberts Jr. On July 1, 2005, O’Connor announced that she would retire when a new justice was sworn in, and President Bush II on July 19 nominated John Roberts Jr. to succeed her. When Rehnquist died on September 3, Bush, three days later, September 6, withdrew Roberts’s nomination for O’Connor’s seat and instead nominated him to succeed Rehnquist as chief justice. The Senate confirmed Roberts on September 29. Roberts, a Republican and a Catholic, was born in Buffalo, New York, on January 27, 1955, but the family moved to Indiana when he was nine years old. His father, John,...

    (pp. 335-351)
    (pp. 352-370)
  18. Appendix 3 THE JUSTICES
    (pp. 371-375)
  19. Appendix 4 THE SUPREME COURTS
    (pp. 376-380)
    (pp. 381-390)
    (pp. 391-392)
    (pp. 393-394)
  23. Back Matter
    (pp. 395-395)