The Hughes Court (1930–41)


Why did Justice Hugo Black’s nomination create controversy?

The nomination of Justice Hugo Black caused controversy when rumors surfaced that Black once had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Black had resigned his Klan membership before he ran for the U.S. Senate in his home state of Alabama. He never rejoined the organization and, in fact, consistently voted on behalf of the downtrodden, including many minorities, during his long tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court. Others opposed Black because while still serving as a U.S. senator from Alabama, he voted on legislation affecting the U.S. Supreme Court (including the issue of salaries for the justices) during the time his nomination as a U.S. Supreme Court justice was being considered by his fellow senators.


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