President Lincoln Appoints a Successor to Roger Taney

Almost Chosen People

Vice Presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris (D.Ca.) stated in the Vice Presidential debate of October 7, 2020, that Abraham Lincoln did not appoint a Supreme Court nominee close to his re-election because such a nomination would have been unfair.  She badly mangles the relevant history in making this claim.

Chief Justice Roger Taney died on October 12, 1864.  At 87 he still holds the record of oldest serving Chief Justice.  His tenure as Chief Justice at 28 years was the second longest, surpassed only by that of John Marshall.

Nominated as Chief Justice by his friend President Andrew Jackson, his tenure is considered by historians to be highly significant for the Court.  Although he had authored many important decisions, he is remembered today only for one:  Dred Scott.  Taney, a slave owner, had mirrored the tragic trajectory of the views of the South in regard to slavery in his own…

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