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What the First Senate Hearing for a Supreme Court Nominee Shows about Today's Confirmation Process - MosaicMosaic
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What the First Senate Hearing for a Supreme Court Nominee Shows about Today's Confirmation Process

The possibility of another contentious confirmation hearing recalls the first the Senate ever held, which just happened to be for the first Jewish justice to sit on the court.


Observation
Oct. 6 2020
About the author

Rick Richman is an attorney and frequent contributor to Mosaic. He is the author of “What Would Brandeis Do?” (August 4, 2016) and Racing Against History: The 1940 Campaign for a Jewish Army to Fight Hitler (Encounter Books, 2018).


Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, and the possibility of another contentious Senate confirmation hearing, evoke the first time the Senate ever held such a hearing, a little over a century ago—when President Woodrow Wilson nominated, in the same election year in which he was running for a second term, a jurist who belonged to one of America’s religious minorities, and whose views were thought incompatible with the conventional opinions shared by the Washington establishment. That nominee would go on to become the first Jewish justice to sit on the Supreme Court.

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More about: History & Ideas, Politics & Current Affairs, Supreme Court