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The Supreme Court

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Tlie recent conlinniition of -Senator Stanley Mat&ews to be an Assoeite Jdstiee of tlw United States Supreme Court rendéis opportune same remarles about that body, vvliieh may be o( interest to those unfamiliar with the eustonis of the court and incidenta nftshistory. As is c!l kiiowr. al'l tlic justicos wear black gowns while sitting on (he beneli. The Chief Jusuoe'sgown8 of satin, the otliers of groa grain or satin de Lyon; all are of excellent quality of the material used Die Chief .Instice saya he gets a new uue wuy once m tour years, and wears it örat when administratingtheoath of oflice to a Président. These gowns are made long, reaching to the ankles and are qirite fnllj thebréadthsarestratabt and faatened to a volk. The sleeves are wide and flqwing. The gowns, in brief, n semble closély those worn in the pulpit by most ministers of the I rotestant Episcopal Church. There is a robing-rooin near the 8ttreme Court Chamber in the Capitol u which the juatíces put on their gowusbeforegoing in to take their seats !n court. The ('hief Justice has i chair n the centre, and the justice vlio has served lonirest, ns lliut august body sits on his right and he who has served next longest on the Cluef Justice'sleft. and so on in Uie order of tlie dates of their commissions the two justices most recently appointedsitting on the extreme right and The appointmentson the Supreme hench being tor life, changes in that body have usnally been rare, but witlijn the past four years they have been lrequent. From the date of Chief Jnstioe Waite's appointment, in January, 1874, to succeed Chief Justice Olíase who had died a few montlis before' there were no vacancies witil .Tunfinu pavía, of Illinois, resigned, in 1876 to accept a seat in the Uiiited States Senate. lie was succeeded in November, 18, by Justice Hartan, and the resignations last winter of Justices Swayne and Strong left two more vacancies, which have been íilled by Jnstices oods and Stanley Matthews. As two other .justices- Clifford and Ilunt- are ni sueli physical and mental ill health that they can never hope again to Bit with the court, it has now but two left of those who constituted it prior to 1870, wlien Justice Bradley was appointed. Justice Miller took liis seat in 18(52, and Justice Field in ikc.í Both oí these gentlemen are in excellent health, and have no thought of retiring, nor are they yefc old enough to do so on f uil pay, each being only sixty-üve years old. The law permits a justice of the supreme court, when he has attained the age of seventy, if he has served ten years, to retire witli full salary- $10,000. It was under this law tkat .lustices Swayne and Strong retired. The liad served nineteen years, and the laLter two months less than eleven years. .1 ustice Clifford is privileged to follovv their example, having been appointed in 1857, and served continuously until his liealth broke down liist autumn, after his arrival liere, intending to take his seat with tiie court as usual; but lie is understood to beunable to write liisresignation, and there is no law to enforce the retirement of a justice of the supreme court on account of age inlinnities. Jnstice Ilunt will not have serveil ten years until IJeceniber, 1882, so, if he resigned, he could not liave his salary contiuued. The supretne court at its firstsession in 1790, consisted of a cliief justice and live gssoewte justices. The mimber of fcfee Jatter was increased to six in 1807, to eight n 1837, to nlne in 186:5 by appolntment of .1 udge Field ; decreased on .Tudge Oatron's death in 1865 to eiglit, and still fnrtlier decreased when Judge Wayne dien in 1867. In 1870 it was again increased to eight, the nmuber still retained. Only seveii Dci3ons have ever filled the olüce of cïiief justice, and of these, out'. John Kutledge, presided during (inlv onc term of (lie rmirt -m.) niinxi because the senate refused to continu liiiii. ('hief Justice Tuney and Asdociate Justice Cliffonl ere each conflrmed by a Uüijority of but one vote, ;is .Justice Mat (heus was. Only two chief jusUoes - John Jay and Oliver Kllswor'th -liave ever resigned, and out of tlihly-nine whobnve scrvcd as assoiuato just'ices only eleven liavc resitfiied, tlie, oLhers holding their positioaa until relieved by death. The lollowing held tlif position thirty or over thirty yeare: Chief JusticeMar sliall, 1801 1835; Bushrod Washington 1798 1829; Wffliam Johnson, 18041834; Joseph Story, 1811-1845; John McLeau, 1829-1861; James M. Wayue, 1835-1862. Several otliei-s have served over twenty years.


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Ann Arbor Democrat