Monday, May. 04, 2009

Abe Fortas

Abe Fortas made it onto the Supreme Court, but when Lyndon Johnson nominated him for the role of Chief Justice in 1968, Fortas had the unlucky honor of being the first nominee to fail to win Senate approval since John Rutledge in 1795 — and by filibuster, at that. At issue were Fortas' liberal tendencies and whether a $15,000 payment for a university seminar series he had given constituted a conflict of interest. After it was clear the Senate would not give up, Fortas asked that his name be withdrawn. A year later, Fortas resigned from the court amid rumors of financial-securities violations and a possible impeachment.