Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Supreme Court Justices With No Prior Experience

The formatting isn't too great but here's a list of Supreme Court Jusitices who had no prior experience when they were appointed to the Court..

Name of Justice Prior Occupations Years On Court Appointed By President:

1. William Rehnquist Asst. U.S. Attorney General 1972-2005 Nixon (Assoc., 1972), Reagan (Chief, 1986) 2. Lewis Powell President of the American Bar Ass'n, Private Practice 1972-1987 Nixon
3. Abe Fortas Private Practice 1965-1969 Johnson
4. Byron White Deputy U.S. Attorney General 1962-1993 Kennedy
5. Arthur Goldberg U.S. Secretary of Labor 1962-1965 Kennedy
6. Earl Warren Governor of California 1953-1969 Eisenhower
7. Tom Clark U.S. Attorney General 1949-1967 Truman
8. Harold Burton U.S. Senator 1945-1958 Truman
9. Robert Jackson U.S. Attorney General 1941-1954 F. Roosevelt
10. James Francis Byrnes U.S. Senator 1941-1942 F. Roosevelt
11. William O. Douglas Chairman of the S.E.C. 1939-1975 F. Roosevelt
12. Felix Frankfurter Asst. U.S. Attorney, Asst. Secretary of War, Prof. of Law at Harvard 1939-1962 F. Roosevelt
13. Stanley Forman Reed U.S. Solicitor General 1938-1957 F. Roosevelt
14. Owen Josephus Roberts Special Counsel in "Teapot Dome" investigation and trials 1930-1945 Hoover 15. Harlan Fiske Stone U.S. Attorney General 1925-1946 Coolidge (Assoc., 1925), F. Roosevelt (Chief, 1941)
16. Pierce Butler County Attorney, Private Practice 1923-1939 Harding
17. George Sutherland U.S. Senator 1922-1938 Harding
18. Louis Brandeis Private Practice 1916-1939 Wilson
19. James Clark McReynolds U.S. Attorney General 1914-1941 Wilson
20. Charles Evans Hughes Governor of New York, U.S. Secretary of State 1910-1916, 1930-1941 Taft (Assoc., 1910), Hoover (Chief, 1930)
21. William Henry Moody U.S. Attorney General 1906-1910 T. Roosevelt
22. George Shiras, Jr Private Practice 1892-1903 Harrison
23. Melville Fuller Private Practice 1888-1910 Cleveland
24. Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar U.S. Secretary of the Interior, U.S. Senator 1888-1893 Cleveland 25. Joseph Philo Bradley Private Practice 1870-1892 Grant
26. Salmon P. Chase U.S. Treasury Secretary 1864-1873 Lincoln
27. Samuel Freeman Miller Private Practice 1862-1890 Lincoln
28. Noah Haynes Swayne U.S. Attorney for Ohio, Ohio Legislator 1862-1881 Lincoln
29. Nathan Clifford Maine & U.S. Attorney General 1858-1881 Buchanan
30. John Archibald Campbell Alabama Legislator 1853-1861 Pierce
31. Benjamin Robbins Curtis Massachusetts Legislator 1851-1857 Fillmore
32. John McKinley U.S. Senator 1838-1852 Van Buren
33. Roger Brooke Taney Maryland & U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Treasury Secretary 1836-1864 Jackson
34. Henry Baldwin U.S. Congressman 1830-1844 Jackson
35. Joseph Story Speaker of Mass. House of Reps., U.S. Congressman 1812-1845 Madison
36. John Marshall U.S. Secretary of State 1801-1835 Adams
37. Bushrod Washington Virginia House of Delegates, Reporter for Virginia Court of Appeals 1799-1829 Adams
38. William Paterson Governor of New Jersey 1793-1806 Washington
39. John Jay President of the Continental Congress, U.S. Secretary of Foreign Affairs 1789-1795 Washington
40. John Rutledge Governor of South Carolina 1789-1791, 1795 Washington


  1. What's especially revealing about this list is the high number of heavy hitters. The judicial experience argument is lame. If that's the best the Republicans can come up with, Kagan is home free.

  2. Seems as if there are more great justices on this list than any other. I agree with K. The experience argument is lame...

    I also think the Progressives and Liberals who are attacking her are not being honest or are naive.

    She may not have been my first choice, that would have been Diane Wood, but she is still much farther left than what Stevens was when he was appointed... That should stand for something.

  3. You say she is farther left than what Stevens was, but as far as I can tell, the only argument for that is that Stevens was appointed by a republican.

    Her public record is very slim on where she stands on most issues. It seems to me that she is being picked more for her strong democratic party ties than anything else. That is not necessarily bad, but there is a lot that is not publicly known about where she stands.

    Party insiders may know, but is that good?!?

    I agree, however, that experience as a judge is not a requirement.

  4. Jerry: I wonder if she was picked because she is likely to sail through easily and quickly.... not a fight the President wants at this time, so he can devote time getting other things done with Congress. Or something like that, anyway.

  5. It wouldn't matter if Obama picked Jesus Christ for the Court the GOP would still act like idiots. See the post right above this one.

  6. "...the GOP would still act like idiots."

    It is NOT an act!

  7. Frodo believes that Justice Lewis Powell, upon appointment, also had no prior judicial experience.

    Picky, picky.

  8. Frodo: You're right. I got this from FindLaw.