Random Trivia

I didn’t realize until the other day that only four Chief Justices of the United States were appointed by Democrats:

1.  Roger Taney (Andrew Jackson)

2.  Melville Fuller (Grover Cleveland)

3.  Harlan Fiske Stone (FDR)

4.  Fred Vinson (Harry Truman)

That’s it.  All of the others were nominated by Republicans or Federalists.  And that also means that the last Democratic Chief Justice was picked in 1946–talk about a long drought.


BTW, I want to congratulate Duke on returning to the Championship game.  Doing that two years in a row is what you’d expect from a powerhouse program.

Oh, that’s right . . .  Butler is the one that got back to the Final.  Go Dawgs!

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Orin Kerr says:

    True, although Earl Warren was one of the 9 nominated by Republicans. If the Warren Court counts as a drought for Democrats, I suspect a lot of Democrats don’t terribly mind a drought now and then.

  2. Joe says:

    Trade you a leading 1952 Republican candidate for President for various of the “Democratic” picks that were pretty conservative or in one case actually a Republican picked for the sake of unity.

    All for ‘now and then’ … but even counting Warren, a drought over over 40 years is a bit more than that.

  3. Gerard Magliocca says:

    Right — Stone was a Republican put on the Court originally by Coolidge.

  4. Brian Kalt says:

    How about the fact that only four Democrats have ever gotten more than 51% of the popular vote (Jackson, FDR, L. Johnson, and Obama)?

  5. Gerard Magliocca says:

    That’s Exhibit A in my case that 2008 was a realignment.

  6. Brian Kalt says:

    There have only been such a thing as Democrats as you use the term for the last 182 years (i.e., since the inauguration of Andrew Jackson in 1829). In the last 182 years, Democrats have held the presidency for 86 of those years, or 47% of the time.

    Now consider that in that same 182-year period, the four Democratic-nominated chief justices have been in office for 62 of those years, or 34% of the time. A significant different, I suppose, but not really that far out of whack as it seems at first glance.

    You could also put it as 16 out of the 38 presidents (42%) in that time being Democrats, and 4 out of 13 chief justices (31%), which is even less out of whack.

    The ones with the real gripe are the Democratic-Republicans and the Whigs. They held the White House for 44 years (out of the 60 years they were running candidates) and they didn’t get to appoint any chief justices at all.