Whatever burger said in the hearings ultimately

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Whatever Burger said in the hearings ultimately assured hi s nomination as ―the Committee voted its approval in a five- minute private session‖ following the nomination. Of the eighteen justices (out of the total sample of 50) classified as unknown, David Souter was the least known of them all. Nominated in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, the term ―stealth‖ was first used to describe Souter. A cartoon published in the New York Times even depicted Souter as a Stealth Bomber plane because of his ―relative lack of experience‖ and ―almost blank slate as a record of substance.‖ In an effort to assure an easy confirmation, Bush nominated Souter largely because ―His record reveal[ed] next to nothing about the values he brings to constitutional questions.‖ 38 Before nominating Kennedy, President Reagan announced his intention to nominate Douglas Ginsburg to the Court. Ginsburg withdrew his name before being officially nominated after negative press appeared about how he used to smoke marijuana with students while teaching at Harvard Law School.
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68 One justice in this group could not be placed confidently in either category. Ultimately, Fred M. Vinson was placed in the unknown category based upon the assumption that the lack of available information meant that the justice was probably not well known at the time of his nomination; however, based his impressive résumé (including Congressman, Secretary of the Treasury, and District Attorney of Kentucky, among other things), the public may have known who Vinson was. Because of the selected methodology, only one news source, the New York Times , was searched for articles. Limited results from the search resulted in a lack of information that made placing Vinson sufficiently difficult. A reading of only Vinson‘s biographical sketch probably would place him in the well-known category, but his newspaper articles failed to support that result. In fact, the newspapers, unlike those for most other justices, failed to give any indication of whether Vinson was well known or unknown at the time of his nomination. Well Known Justices Only three justices nominated after 1930 were classified as well known, constituting is 15% of the post-1930 nominations. The circumstances of each of their nominations are unique, and they are similar only in that they had high visibility careers prior to nomination. Earl Warren, nominated in 1953, was a popular California governor, who ―had a high reputation for administrative ability.‖ Byron White, nominated in 1962, ―played for the Lions [a Detroit football team] and attended the Yale Law School in his spare time.‖ White also play ed for the Pittsburg Steelers for a season. The nomination of John M. Harlan, II, nominated in 1955, encountered the most controversy of the three. Harlan‘s grandfather was also a Supreme Court Justice and his
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69 family had many connections. Nominated only months after the Court released the first Brown v. Board of Education 39 decision, the country knew that the new justice would have an impact on further school segregation cases, and there would be many.
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