Democratic presidents, Jewish justices

Patrick Buchanan brings out a remarkable fact:

[O]f the last seven justices nominated by Democrats JFK, LBJ, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, one was black, Marshall; one was Puerto Rican, Sonia Sotomayor. The other five were Jews: Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.

Incredible! Ever since President Kennedy’s nomination of Byron White (who by the way turned out to be a conservative justice) in 1962, all the justices nominated by Democratic presidents have been Jewish, black, or Puerto Rican. It’s thus been 48 years—over one fifth of the nation’s history since the founding of the government under the Constitution—since a Democratic president chose a white gentile for the Supreme Court.

But what about that other Democratic president of the last five decades, Jimmy Carter, who is missing from Buchanan’s list? Oddly, Carter in his miserable four years in office never had the opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court justice. Which would seem to be yet another mark of what a loser he was, because, as I just found out by browsing the list of Supreme Court justices at Wikipedia, besides Carter there were only two elected presidents in our entire history who did not name anyone to the Court, and they both kicked the bucket shortly after becoming president: William Henry Harrison, who died one month after entering office in 1841, and Zachary Taylor, who died one year and four months after entering office in 1849. Harrison and Taylor were also the first two presidents to die in office, and, by interesting coincidence, they were also the only two elected Whig presidents.

There was yet one more president who never chose a Supreme Court justice—the unfortunate Andrew Johnson, who succeeded to the office on the death on Lincoln.

- end of initial entry -

Leonard K. writes:

Spelling correction: it’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg, not Ginsberg.

LA replies:

My gosh you’re right. I just checked Wiki. All along I think I’ve been spelling it “berg,” rather than “burg.” And Buchanan does the same misspelling.

Leonard replies:

It’s a common error. Moreover, some bearers (but not Ruth) spell it “berg” themselves, which is a distortion. “Berg” stands for a mountain, and “Burg” stands for a fortress. Ginsburg is a rabbinical name that originated in Guenzburg, a town in Germany.

LA replies:

For example, Allen Ginsberg.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 14, 2010 06:00 PM | Send

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