Today in Supreme Court History

Today in Supreme Court History: February 14, 1845

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

2/14/1845: Justice Samuel Nelson takes judicial oath.

Justice Samuel Nelson

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  1. He wrote the original “hands-off” opinion in Dred Scott, holding that the Court had no jurisdiction. Why Taney took over and issued his screed about black people is still a mystery. What did effect did he expect it to have? He was 80 years old at the time and probably starting to lose it.

  2. Nelson is also one of four justices nominated in an election year during divided government to win confirmation. The other 11 failed, including, most recently, Merrick Garland. Pretty neat in light of yesterday’s Today in Supreme Court History!

    1. Garland was a special case because his nomination wasn’t even acted on. Of course this is Republicans we’re talking about and Garland was nominated by a black man.

      “The black man has no rights which the white man is obligated to respect.” — Taney

      1. Not really. Only two of the 11 received up-or-down votes. Another two were formally postponed by a Senate vote. But the majority of the 11 had no action taken on their nomination, or the president withdrew the nomination.

        1. I’d like to know about those other instances when nominations were not acted on.

          In any of them, did the Senate majority leader — within hours of the previous Justice dying — publicly declare that the Senate would refuse to act?

          1. Ten of the 11, Garland is the exception, occurred before the 1920s, when the Senate parties started electing floor leaders. So, the answer to the question is “no,” but it’s “no” because the position of Senate majority leader didn’t exist.

            Additionally, not all of the 11 were replacements for dead justices. Stanley Matthews, for example, was nominated to replace a retiring Justice Swayne.

      2. Yup. A black president not getting what he wants politically is the same as slavery.

        1. Remember when Obama was going to transcend ordinary politics?

          Pepperidge farm remembers.

          “…Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

          “The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics. This is why Obama is so rare. And this why he is so often compared to Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., to those leaders in our culture whose stirring vibrations still resonate throughout our short history….

          “Don’t buy any of it? Think that’s all a bunch of tofu-sucking New Agey bulls– and Obama is really a dangerously elitist political salesman whose inexperience will lead us further into darkness because, when you’re talking national politics, nothing, really, ever changes? I understand. I get it. I often believe it myself.

          “Not this time.”

          https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/morford/article/Is-Obama-an-enlightened-being-Spiritual-wise-2544395.php

          1. Evidence needed for this assertion.

            1. Evidence needed for your assertions too. Or does it just work one way?

              1. It is easy to find McConnells quotes. You are not serious and not worth further responding to.

                1. You asserted it was because of McConnell is racist.

                  Your “easy to find McConnells quotes” is non responsive to Á àß äẞç ãþÇđ âÞ¢Đæ ǎB€Ðëf ảhf’s comment. He was asking about evidence of that incredibly dumb statement.

                2. It’s all too easy to find Obama quotes contradicting other Obama quotes. Or for an even plainer example, all his hand-wringing over global warming and rising sea level, contrasted with his plunking down $14M for a sea-level beach mansion.

                  Neither you nor he are serious, but here we are.

  3. Jeez, I was hoping you wouldn’t trigger anyone today.

  4. Wow, nothing but “Today in Supreme Court History” posts for TWO DAYS! Really slow legal news day, eh? What’s the matter, Volokh Folks? Trump got your tongue?

    1. No legal news of any import, I suppose.

    2. Volokh tends to be about law, not politics.

      Although I do recall some sc-fi fandom posts every now or then.

    3. Could be traveling, like to Connecticut for 7 minute hearings …. could be in classes, in court, all sorts of things.

      1. Could be accumulating material for further posts on traveling . . . for example, “Tips on talking to the Pope”, “Tips on talking to the Queen”, whatever builds his resume for a future federal judgeship.

        1. Oooh, the burn! Now we can see how serious you are.

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