SCOTUS trivia

July 11th, 2018 at 7:50:13 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 843
Posts: 10066
The original SCOTUS had 6 members. George Washington appointed the original 6 justices, 3 of whom resigned during his presidency and three died in office after GW was no longer president. All total he appointed 10 men before he left the Presidency. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson appointed 3 apiece , Madison appointed 2. As many men would stay in office until they died there was an 11 year absence for a death and Monroe got a single appointment in.

Since that time, the longest period has been under 6 years, with a sole exception in recent history of 11 years.
Quiz One: Which back to back Presidential terms in recent history had no supreme court vacancies? Hint is that we are talking post Jimmy Carter.

There are 10 POTUSs who served less than one full term. Three of them A. Johnson, Taylor, and Harrison never got to put a candidate on SCOTUS. Johnson actually had opportunity, but was blocked by congress.
John Tyler 1,430 days
Andrew Johnson 1,419
Chester A. Arthur 1,262
John F. Kennedy 1,036
Millard Fillmore 969
Gerald Ford 895
Warren G. Harding 881
Zachary Taylor 492
James A. Garfield 199
William Henry Harrison 31

Quiz Two: Who is the only POTUS who served at least one term and did not get to nominate a SCOTUS associate?

Quiz Three: FDR had no vacancies for his first presidential term from 1933 to 1937. Fresh from a landslide 1936 re-election what famous legislative change did he attempt in the first weeks of his 2nd term that was criticized by both parties?
July 11th, 2018 at 8:21:59 AM permalink
terapined
Member since: Aug 6, 2014
Threads: 44
Posts: 4112
Quiz 3 I knew right off the bat
He tried to pack the court
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own - Grateful Dead "Eyes of the World"
July 11th, 2018 at 8:51:38 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 843
Posts: 10066
Quote: terapined
Quiz 3 I knew right off the bat
He tried to pack the court


That is correct. FDR observed that the number of seats in SCOTUS was not set in the constitution, and has started as 6 seats increased to 10 and back down to 9. FDR was frustrated by not being able to name a single judge his first term, and with the SCOTUS shooting down some of his most cherished proposals, he reasoned that congress could add more seats for each judge who chose not to retire within 6 months of turning 70 (up to a maximum of 15). Although it was never ruled illegal, it was seen as a major power grab.

Of course in FDR's second term, three judges retired and two died. Eventually he named 9 judges for 8 positions. There was only one judge, Owen Josephus Roberts, he stayed in position from 1930 to 1945 and and FDR did not replace.
FDR asked one of his nominees to resign after 15 months to help him with the war effort. He almost became Vice President instead of Truman, but he is now lost to history as much people cannot remember the name of James F. Byrnes.


Subsequent counts (which should help with other quiz questions)
Dwight D. Eisenhower 5
John F. Kennedy 2
Lyndon B. Johnson 2
Richard Nixon 4
Gerald Ford 1
== John Paul Stevens
Ronald Reagan 3
== Sandra Day O'Connor
== Antonin Scalia
== Anthony Kennedy
George H. W. Bush 2
== David Souter (retired less than 19 years)
== Clarence Thomas
Bill Clinton 2
== Ruth Bader Ginsburg
== Stephen Breyer
George W. Bush 2
== John Roberts
== Samuel Alito
Barack Obama 2
== Sonia Sotomayor
== Elena Kagan
Donald Trump 1
== Neil Gorsuch

Between FDR and Truman (20 years) obviously the entire SCOTUS was nominated by a Democratic POTUS. By the time RBG was nominated by Bill Clinton, to replace Byron White (nominated by JFK) all of her colleagues had been nominated by Republicans.

Harry Blackmun 12. May. 1970 Nixon
William Rehnquist 10. Dec. 1971 Nixon promoted 17. Sep. 1986 by Reagan to Chief Justice
John Paul Stevens 17. Dec. 1975 Ford
Sandra Day O'Connor 21. Sep. 1981 Reagan
Antonin Scalia 17. Sep. 1986 Reagan
Anthony Kennedy 3. Feb. 1988 Reagan
David Souter 2. Oct. 1990 HW Bush
Clarence Thomas 15. Oct. 1991 HW Bush

REMINDER
Quiz One: Which back to back Presidential terms in recent history had no supreme court vacancies? Hint is that we are talking post Jimmy Carter.
Quiz Two: Who is the only POTUS who served at least one term and did not get to nominate a SCOTUS associate?
July 13th, 2018 at 10:06:00 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 843
Posts: 10066
Quote: Pacomartin
Quiz One: Which back to back Presidential terms in recent history had no supreme court vacancies? Hint is that we are talking post Jimmy Carter.
Quiz Two: Who is the only POTUS who served at least one term and did not get to nominate a SCOTUS associate?


No interest so I will supply answers.

Quiz One: Bill Clinton's second term followed by GW Bush's first term
Quiz Two: Jimmy Carter

The only back to back presidential terms in the 19th century without a nomination were James Madison's 2nd term and James Monroe's 1st term.

Three 19th century presidents did not get to name a Supreme Court judge, but they all served less than one full term. Jimmy Carter is the only president to serve a full term and not get a nomination.

When there was no vacancies for FDR's entire first term, he grew frustrated with the old men destroying his policies. After FDR's second election he proposed adding a just for everyone who was over age 70.5 up to six. Coincidentally, at the time there were six justices over age 70.5 years.

The defeat of this proposal didn't matter much because over his second term, four justices retired and one died. By FDR's third term he had replaced them all except for the youngest.
Age when FDR began 2nd term
80.30 Brandeis retired
77.88 Van Devanter retired
75.08 McReynolds
74.94 Sutherland retired
74.89 Hughes
70.96 Butler died
66.78 Cardozo retired
64.39 Stone
61.84 O. Roberts