Monday, May. 04, 2009

Lucius Q.C. Lamar

In 1887, President Grover Cleveland nominated his splendidly named Secretary of the Interior, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, to the Supreme Court. Lamar was the first former Confederate put forward for the high court since the end of the Civil War two decades earlier and drew charges he was too aligned with Southern interests. Republicans also accused Lamar of being in bed with the railroad companies, having insufficient judicial experience and being too old to serve — at 62, he was then the second-oldest nominee in the court's history. He deflected the criticism with calls for national unity, but he also came under fire for accusations that he had had an affair and helped a woman get government employment in exchange for sex. Despite all the bluster, Lamar was confirmed in 1888 and served on the bench until his death in 1893.