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Truman’s Supreme Court Appointee

While President Franklin D. Roosevelt had some bipartisan record — he appointed Republicans as Secretaries of War and Navy — his squelched plan to pack the Supreme Court was still a bitter pill among Washington Republicans. Three months after FDR’s death, new President Harry S Truman was faced with an open Supreme Court seat, seven associate Court justices already appointed by the Democratic FDR and a legislative branch full of skeptical Republican eyes waiting to see what he would do. While naming a Democrat to the seat likely would have been approved, Truman broke with his party and instead chose Republican Ohio Sen. Harold Burton for the Court. It was an olive branch to congressional Republicans — and a chance for a new president to find common ground with the congressional opposition.

1945-01-01 00:00:00

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