Harry S. Truman


Who were Truman’s U.S. Supreme Court appointees?

Truman appointed one chief justice and three associate justices. He appointed Frederick M. Vinson, his secretary of the treasury, to the Court in 1946 where he served seven years. He was not regarded as a great leader of the Court; some members of the Court viewed him as a politician, not a judge.

Truman appointed Harold Burton, Tom Clark, and Sherman Minton as associate justices. Burton, a U.S. senator from Ohio, served thirteen years on the Court. Clark, Truman’s U.S. attorney general, served on the Court for eighteen years. He resigned from the Court when his son Ramsey was named U.S. attorney general. Minton, a former U.S. senator from Indiana, had been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit before his nomination. He served seven years on the Court.


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