Supreme Court Trivia

Hail to the Chief

Which justices, who were recess appointments, actually served on the Court before the Senate voted on their confirmations?

Five justices served on the bench before Senate confirmation. They are: John Rutledge, Benjamin R. Curtis, Earl Warren, William Brennan, and Potter Stewart. Of these five, only Rutledge was not confirmed. There have been ten other justices who were recess appointments, but they did not take their seats until after confirmation. They are: Thomas Johnson, Bushrod Washington, Alfred Moore, Henry Brockholst Livingston, John McKinley, Levi Woodbury, David Davis, John Marshall Harlan, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

William Rehnquist was one of two U.S. Supreme Court chief justices to preside over a presidential impeachment trial. Here, Rehnquist listens to testimony in the Senate chamber during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton on February 12, 1999. AP Images.

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