Supreme Court Trivia

Careers Away from the Court

Which two U.S. Supreme Court justices never held a position of public office or official governmental position until their Supreme Court nominations?

Justice Joseph Bradley and his replacement on the Supreme Court, Justice George Shiras Jr., never held positions of public office until they were nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court—Bradley in 1870 and Shiras in 1892. Bradley ran for Congress in 1862 but lost. In 1881, Shiras declined the nomination of the Pennsylvania state legislature to be senator. He had a very successful private law practice in Pittsburgh for more than thirty years.


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