The Hughes Court (1930–41)


What was unusual about Justice Black’s swearing-in as a justice?

In open Supreme Court proceedings, two prominent individuals—Albert Levitt, a former federal judge and former assistant to the U.S. attorney general, and Boston attorney Patrick Henry Kelly—expressed their opposition to Justice Black the very day he took office. They opposed Black by filing motions contending that then-Senator Black, while waiting to be approved as a Supreme Court justice, had voted on raising the salaries of the justices, thereby making him ineligible to serve on the Court. Justice Black opted to take his oath of office in private, rather than have a public swearing-in ceremony.


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