By Charles H. Sheldon
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Additional info for Choosing justice: the recruitment of state and federal judges
56 In writing to John Jay, his nominee for Chief Justice, he stated: In nominating you for the important station which you now fill, I not only acted in conformity to my best judgment, but I trust I did a 53 William Mitchell, "The Supreme Court in Washington's Time," American Bar Association Journal 18 (1932): 341. 54 Quoted in Warren, "New Light on the History of the Federal Judiciary Act of 1879," 52. 55 Washington is the only President to fill at one time every seat of the Court. Only four Presidents since WashingtonJackson, Lincoln, Taft and Roosevelthave appointed even a majority of the members of the Court, and their appointments were not simultaneous.
Although it removed the direct influence of political parties from the process and although the voters were still involved in selecting their judges, dissatisfaction with the results of nonpartisan contests was voiced. The roll-off (voters who do not cast ballots for judges) increased with the removal of the political party label. Voters were expected to cast an informed vote but very little information was available. It was feared that special interests such as insurance companies, big business, labor unions or segments of the legal profession would determine close races.
31. 49 Abraham, "A Bench Happily Filled: Some Historical Reflections on the Supreme Court Appointment Process," 285. 50 Lodge, The Federalist, pp. 474-475. 51 Abraham, "A Bench Happily Filled: Some Historical Reflections on the Supreme Court Appointment Process," 285. 52 On April 7, 1789, the Senate appointed a Special Judiciary Committee. The Committee of 1789 consisted of ten men (one from each state), comprising one half of the Senate membership. See Charles Warren, "New Light on the History of the Federal Judiciary Act of 1789," Harvard Law Review 37 (1923): 57-58.
Choosing justice: the recruitment of state and federal judges by Charles H. Sheldon