In 1789, President George Washington nominated the first five justices to the Supreme Court of the United States, a result of the 1789 Judiciary Act. Of the 165 nominations since then, there have been a total of just 126 nominations confirmed and only 116 justices who sat on the country's highest court.
While the Senate has generally deferred to the president's choices, nominations to the Supreme Court have history of coming under scrutiny. From John Rutledge, the first nominee to be formally rejected, to most-recently appointed Ketanji Brown Jackson, the nominations process has sometimes been a tumultuous affair.
Join historian Christopher Brooks as he surveys the history of the Supreme Court, its nominations process, and the politics that have played a role in shaping the Court into what we see today.
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