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James Buchanan

Presidency

Who was Buchanan’s lone U.S. Supreme Court appointee?

In 1858, Buchanan nominated Nathan Clifford, a politician from Maine who had served in the U.S. House of Representatives and had served as President James K. Polk’s attorney general. Clifford, who supported the right of states to decide for themselves the slavery question, was narrowly confirmed in the Senate by a 26 to 23 vote. Clifford served on the Court until his death in 1881.



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