In most cases these articles simply stated who was

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In most cases, these articles simply stated who was nominated and the state from which they came. In fact, a prominent newspaper from Massachusetts announced the nomination of Samuel Nelson in a small column where the availability of fresh peas in the market was listed just below Nelson‘s notice. Placement o f the article says more about the nomination than the article itself. Clearly, the nomination was considered only slightly more important than fresh peas. Articles about some of the earliest nominations were not more than a few words, in stark contrast to the articles of the justices in the post- 1930 group, which were more likely to span multiple newspaper columns, if not pages. Although many articles mentioned the Senate, very few talked about the Senate Judiciary Committee. Starting in 1888, though, with the nomination of Lucius Q.C. Lamar, concern rose about the secretive Senate sessions. A New York Times article called these closed sessions ―absurd,‖ saying that ―they ought to be abolished,‖ because ―What was said [in committee] can never be known.‖ While discussion of the closed sessions was evidently important during Lamar‘s nomination, no nominations following his presented the issue in the same way, if at all. Two justices were placed in this group for reasons different than the other justices. One justice, Stephen J. Field, was placed in this group based solely on information from his biography, because no articles were found about his nomination or confirmation. Field was nominated to the Court by President Lincoln in 1863 the height of the American Civil War. Additionally, the America’s Historical Newspapers database largely covers newspapers from the east coast of the United States and does not have any newspapers from California, the state that Field was from. Understandably,
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62 news abo ut the Civil War may have taken precedence over Field‘s nomination in the papers. The lack of access to geographically appropriate papers probably also contributes to the lack of articles about Field. One justice, David Brewer, was placed in this based largely on the fact that he was the nephew of sitting Supreme Court justice Stephen J. Field. While the public may not have recognized Brewer immediately following his nomination, he was surely recognized quickly thereafter, due to his family‘s connection s. Unknown Justices Only one justice nominated prior to 1930 was classified as unknown. President Benjamin Harrison nominated George Shiras in 1892. Only four articles were published, spanning only four days in July of 1892. Very little can be said about Shiras‘s nomination; his biography accurately sums up his nomination by simply calling him ―obscure.‖ The Senate wasted no time confirming him, either. According to a New York Times article, the Senate ―took but five minutes […] to dispose of his a nd other nominations.‖ No pictures of Shiras accompanied his articles— not surprising considering the first picture found was printed in 1922, thirty years later. Although
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