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John Tyler

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  • greg
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tyler#Presidency Democrats as the party of the South, led the way to the sectional party politics of the next decade. His
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 28, 2005
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      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tyler#Presidency

      Democrats as the party of 'the South,' led the way to the sectional
      party politics of the next decade.

      His presidency was rarely taken seriously in his time; he was usually
      referred to as the "Acting President" or "His Accidency" by opponents.
      Further, Tyler quickly found himself at odds with his former political
      supporters. Harrison had been expected to adhere closely to Whig Party
      policies and work closely with Whig leaders, particularly Henry Clay.
      Tyler shocked Congressional Whigs by vetoing virtually the entire Whig
      agenda, twice vetoing Clay's legislation for a national banking act
      following the Panic of 1837 and leaving the government deadlocked.
      Tyler was officially expelled from the Whig Party in 1841, a few
      months after taking office, and the entire cabinet he had inherited
      from Harrison resigned in September. The one exception was Daniel
      Webster, Secretary of State, who remained to finalize the
      Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842, demonstrating his independence from
      Clay.

      For two years Tyler struggled with the Whigs, but when he took
      John C. Calhoun as Secretary of as Secretary of State, to 'reform' the
      Democrats, the gravitational swing of the Whigs to identity with 'the
      North' and the Democrats as the party of 'the South,' led the way to
      the sectional party politics of the next decade.
    • Ram Lau
      http://www.supremecourthistory.org/myweb/77journal/swindler77.htm Robin Hood, Congress and the Court WILLIAM F. SWINDLER Copyright 1976, Supreme Court
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 28, 2005
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        http://www.supremecourthistory.org/myweb/77journal/swindler77.htm
        "Robin Hood," Congress and the Court
        WILLIAM F. SWINDLER

        Copyright 1976, Supreme Court Historical Society
        from the Yearbook 1977 Supreme Court Historical Society

        Presidents nominate persons for positions on the Supreme Court for a
        variety of reasons--and in about one case in four, the Senate rejects
        the nomination for a variety of reasons, mostly political. Altogether,
        thirty-four persons have been proposed for the Court who did not sit.
        Seven were confirmed but declined the appointment; one died after
        confirmation but before he could take his seat; twelve were rejected
        by recorded vote; the rest were killed off by various types of
        delaying action, or simply no action.

        Eight Presidents have had one of their nominations defeated by one
        senatorial tactic or another; Grover Cleveland and Richard Nixon had
        two rejections apiece; Millard Fillmore and Ulysses S. Grant, three
        each. But the record is held, in rather dubious honor, by John Tyler,
        the unhappy President without a party, who had the distinction of
        experiencing five rejections of four of his nominees in thirteen months.

        Tyler's selections for the Court were all of high professional
        quality. It was Tyler, not the individual nominees, who was the target
        of the Senate vendetta. Only once in six attempts did the President
        succeed in getting his man confirmed--Chief Justice Samuel Nelson of
        New York. Nelson was so conspicuously competent that, in the interval
        of an uneasy truce between White House and Capitol, his name was
        approved and he went onto the bench.

        Tyler, a Democrat, had come to the presidency by accident. William
        Henry Harrison had been chosen by the Whigs as their candidate for the
        White House in 1840 and Tyler had been his running mate. The fact that
        the vice-presidential candidate came from the opposite party and had
        almost completely opposite political views seemed to the strategists
        of the day to be a masterstroke. In the Number Two position, Tyler's
        views would be neutralized while the combination of a Whig and a
        Democrat would offer a bipartisan appearance calculated to split the
        opposition. To the familiar campaign song of "Tippecanoe and Tyler
        Too," the Whigs contented themselves with vilifying their opponent,
        Martin Van Buren of New York, and evading a discussion of issues which
        would bring their own candidates into conflict with each other.

        The whole thing blew up when the elderly Harrison was struck by
        pneumonia on the day of his inauguration and died a month later. Tyler
        became the first vice president thus to succeed to the White House
        because of the death of the incumbent President. He immediately served
        notice that his administration would follow a strong states' rights
        line; with the Whigs in control of the Senate, this overshadowed a
        solid opposition to Tyler nominees, e.g., for the Supreme Court, as
        events were to prove. The Whigs, chagrined at having lost the fruits
        of the election, turned for leadership to Henry Clay of Kentucky, an
        old Tyler foe; as for the Democrats, they not only resented Tyler's
        trafficking with the Whigs in the 1840 campaign, but they were for the
        most part followers of Van Buren, whose defeat in 1840 was ascribed in
        large part to the vitriolic attacks of the Harrison-Tyler partisans.

        The confrontation began in January 1844, when the President sent up a
        nomination of a successor to Justice Smith Thompson, who had died the
        previous month. Tyler's first impulse was to play the same political
        game that had proved effective--at least up to a point--in 1840: he
        would propose Van Buren himself, thus appealing to the Democrats for
        restored party harmony while putting his strongest rival for the 1844
        Presidential nomination out of contention. Van Buren's friends saw
        through the maneuver and persuaded Tyler that Van Buren would reject
        the nomination and make Tyler himself a laughing stock. The President
        thereupon substituted another New Yorker, John C. Spencer--and leapt
        from the frying pan into the fire.

        Spencer was a Whig, but this did nothing to further his nomination.
        First, was the fact that he was an anti-Clay Whig; second, he had
        accepted appointment to Tyler's Cabinet as Secretary of War and
        subsequently Secretary of the Treasury. Finally, his narrow, technical
        views on the national banking laws had added to the current enmities,
        since it had been a bitter debate over a banking bill that had caused
        mass resignations from the Cabinet in 1842. Despite acknowledged legal
        competence, "I have no confidence in the political integrity of Mr.
        Spencer," wrote a New York political leader to Clay's henchman,
        Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, while another New York Whig
        stalwart, Francis Granger, declared in the New York Herald that ninety
        Whigs out of every hundred would oppose the nomination.

        Within three weeks, the Spencer nomination had been rejected by the
        Senate, 21-26. For the next six weeks, Tyler sounded out a number of
        prospects including--or so it was rumored--the leading Philadelphia
        lawyer Horace Binney and the longtime reporter to the Supreme Court,
        Henry Wheaton. Finally, on March 13, 1844, the President made his
        second formal selection, the chancellor of New York, Reuben H.
        Walworth. The Senate showed no disposition to act on the nomination,
        and while matters thus drifted along a second Court vacancy occurred
        with the death of Justice Henry Baldwin. On June 5 Tyler sent up a
        second name for the second opening--Judge Edward King of Philadelphia.

        Tyler was in an impossible situation, not only with respect to his
        Supreme Court nominees but with reference to his entire administrative
        program. A courtly Virginian of the old Jeffersonian tradition, it had
        been his misfortune to come to national office at a time when the
        party of Jefferson was torn between the Van Buren faction of the North
        and the Clay faction of the West. Indeed, most of the political career
        of this gentle and gentlemanly Southerner was to be a history of being
        left behind by changing times. Elected to the Senate as an
        anti-Jackson Democrat, he had felt obliged to support Jackson against
        Clay, in the deadlock of 1828, as "a choice of evils." Yet in 1832
        when the Jacksonian Democrats won control of the Virginia legislature
        and returned Tyler to the Senate, it was with instructions to vote to
        expunge the resolution which had censured Jackson in the heated
        struggle over the Bank of the United States. Unable to find it in his
        conscience to do so, Tyler had resigned his seat.

        Tragedy and near-tragedy had marked Tyler's presidential years. In
        1842 his first wife had died. Two years later, making an official
        visit aboard the warship Princeton, he himself narrowly escaped death
        when there was an accidental explosion which killed several members of
        the presidential party, including a prominent New Yorker, David
        Gardiner. This event did prove to have a happy ending; Gardiner's
        daughter, Julia, married the widowed President in June 1844, providing
        the White House with a gracious First Lady in the closing months of
        the administration.

        The couple then retired to the Tyler plantation on the James River in
        Virginia. which Tyler had named "Sherwood Forest," in wry
        acknowledgement of his own political destiny, which he described as
        the role of "Robin Hood" confronting the arrogance of power in his own
        time. The choice of the terms apparently was an admission of political
        predestination; by the spring of 1844, it was apparent that Tyler's
        chances of renomination for the presidency were as non-existent as his
        likelihood of getting his Supreme Court nominations through the
        Senate. In January 1845 the Senate formally tabled the Walworth and
        King nominations.

        That November, the election of James K. Polk had settled several
        matters--the diehard efforts of Clay to get into the White House, and
        the prospects of both Tyler and Van Buren for future political office.
        Another matter which the Polk election settled was the ambition of
        Senator Crittenden to get onto the Supreme Court. He had first been
        nominated in the last days of John Quincy Adams' administration, with
        the Jacksonians in the Senate voting to "postpone" action until their
        own man took office a few weeks later. Clay, had he been successful in
        his final bid for the White House, presumably would have sent up the
        name of his fellow Kentuckian one more time.

        Now, in the last days of the Tyler administration, the White House
        sought to accommodate the Senate in the wake of the presidential
        election; with political issues settled for the time, and with one
        Supreme Court position having been unfilled for a year, it could be
        hoped that a policy of reasonableness might govern relations between
        President and Senate in these last few months. The optimists were to
        prove to be only half right.

        "Better the bench shall be vacant for a year," the National
        Intelligencer had editorialized the previous spring, "than filled for
        half a century by . . . partisans committed in advance to particular
        beliefs." The charge was somewhat exaggerated; while Walworth was
        condemned in the Senate as "querulous, disagreeable [and] unpopular,"
        he was in many professional respects the best qualified of Tyler's
        unsuccessful nominations. For the previous twenty years as chancellor
        of New York he had virtually written the law of equity pleading and
        rules of evidence, and a substantial majority of his opinions had been
        upheld on appeal. Both his predecessor, the renowned Chancellor James
        Kent, and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story cited his cases as
        authoritative.

        Yet there was no denying that he was cantankerous, to a point where
        members of the state bar openly declared that they supported his
        nomination for the Supreme Court as a means of getting him out of
        their own judiciary. The animus was apparently deep rooted; in the new
        constitution of 1846, New York would dispose of the problem by
        abolishing the office of chancellor. In January 1845, Tyler accepted
        the fact of the massive opposition to Walworth and withdrew his name.

        There was no clear objection--other than the Senate's anti-Tyler
        fixation--for opposing Judge King, a highly reputed Pennsylvanian, and
        the President made one final attempt to override the opposition by
        resubmitting King's name. The signs in the Senate were so forbidding,
        however, that early in February he withdrew that nomination as well.

        Time was now running out; obviously, the anti-Tyler forces were
        delaying action until a new administration could take over in March.
        But the outgoing President made one further effort, and for the two
        vacancies on the Court he finally, on the same day that he withdrew
        King's name, submitted two last nominations--Chief Justice Samuel
        Nelson of New York and former United States Attorney John Meredith
        Read of Philadelphia.

        Nelson, one of the best known state judges in the land, was confirmed
        within a week, and took his seat on the Court the day after Tyler left
        office. It was to be Tyler's only successful nomination for the bench.
        Read, although popular with all faction among the Whigs, had
        antislavery views which were anathema to the Southern members of the
        Senate, and the term ended without action on his case.

        The sound and fury over the Court vacancies actually attracted small
        attention in their day. The struggle between Tyler and the
        Congressional opposition involved other issues of more burning public
        concern, epitomized in the effort to annex the Republic of Texas.
        After the Whig-dominated Senate refused to ratify a treaty of
        annexation, Tyler proposed a joint resolution of both houses, which
        would require only a simple majority. This tactic finally worked, but
        only after the fall elections made certain a new Democratic majority
        in Congress. In a sense, the judicial nominations of the President
        without a party were innocent bystanders to the larger contest; in any
        case, several highly qualified candidates were the victims.
      • THOMAS JOHNSON
        During coverage of Reagan s funeral last summer, analyst Jeff Greenfield remarked that Reagan had been the most significant president since FDR.. not the best
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 29, 2005
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          During coverage of Reagan's funeral last summer,
          analyst Jeff Greenfield remarked that Reagan had been
          the most significant president since FDR.. not the
          best president, but the most significant. I found that
          confusing at best. In my opinion, Reagan had left a
          weaker country than he had found by leaving huge
          deficits, had negotiated with terrorists at least
          twice, and had been mired down in scandal. Once again,
          in my opinion the claim that he caused the fall of the
          Soviet Union had much more to do with poor policy
          making inside the Kremlin than anything Reagan had
          done. In fact, the USSR never spent more than 3% of
          it's budget on defense debunking the notion that they
          went broke trying to keep up with US defense spending.
          In listening to an account of the 1966 California
          Gubernatorial race, it became clear what Greenfield
          meant. Reagan spawned the ''gov't is the problem, not
          the answer' attitude that is still prevalent today, to
          be followed by Prop 13 in 1978 and Reagan's election
          in 1980. He was the death knoll of the New Deal.
          He never actually decreased the size of gov't in
          California or the US.. he just talked about it. Our
          current inhabitant has expanded the size and cost of
          gov't more than any president (percentage-wise, in
          real dollars he's spent alot more than anyone) since
          LBJ, but voters never held either accountable.

          Tom



          --- greg <gregcannon1@...> wrote:


          ---------------------------------
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tyler#Presidency

          Democrats as the party of 'the South,' led the way to
          the sectional
          party politics of the next decade.

          His presidency was rarely taken seriously in his time;
          he was usually
          referred to as the "Acting President" or "His
          Accidency" by opponents.
          Further, Tyler quickly found himself at odds with his
          former political
          supporters. Harrison had been expected to adhere
          closely to Whig Party
          policies and work closely with Whig leaders,
          particularly Henry Clay.
          Tyler shocked Congressional Whigs by vetoing virtually
          the entire Whig
          agenda, twice vetoing Clay's legislation for a
          national banking act
          following the Panic of 1837 and leaving the government
          deadlocked.
          Tyler was officially expelled from the Whig Party in
          1841, a few
          months after taking office, and the entire cabinet he
          had inherited
          from Harrison resigned in September. The one exception
          was Daniel
          Webster, Secretary of State, who remained to finalize
          the
          Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842, demonstrating his
          independence from
          Clay.

          For two years Tyler struggled with the Whigs, but when
          he took
          John C. Calhoun as Secretary of as Secretary of State,
          to 'reform' the
          Democrats, the gravitational swing of the Whigs to
          identity with 'the
          North' and the Democrats as the party of 'the South,'
          led the way to
          the sectional party politics of the next decade.




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        • THOMAS JOHNSON
          Thanks to all for the responses.. my question was certainly answered well. I m not sure if anyone ever brought in someone for veep outside their own party
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 30, 2005
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            Thanks to all for the responses.. my question was
            certainly answered well. I'm not sure if anyone ever
            brought in someone for veep outside their own party
            since, but I'm reasonably sure that if someone did,
            they didn't deliver a 2 hour inaugural address in
            freezing temperatures without a coat, as Harrison did.
            I don't think anyone got off to a worse start than
            basically freezing himself to death on his first day.

            Tom



            --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:


            ---------------------------------
            http://www.supremecourthistory.org/myweb/77journal/swindler77.htm
            "Robin Hood," Congress and the Court
            WILLIAM F. SWINDLER

            Copyright 1976, Supreme Court Historical Society
            from the Yearbook 1977 Supreme Court Historical
            Society

            Presidents nominate persons for positions on the
            Supreme Court for a
            variety of reasons--and in about one case in four, the
            Senate rejects
            the nomination for a variety of reasons, mostly
            political. Altogether,
            thirty-four persons have been proposed for the Court
            who did not sit.
            Seven were confirmed but declined the appointment; one
            died after
            confirmation but before he could take his seat; twelve
            were rejected
            by recorded vote; the rest were killed off by various
            types of
            delaying action, or simply no action.

            Eight Presidents have had one of their nominations
            defeated by one
            senatorial tactic or another; Grover Cleveland and
            Richard Nixon had
            two rejections apiece; Millard Fillmore and Ulysses S.
            Grant, three
            each. But the record is held, in rather dubious honor,
            by John Tyler,
            the unhappy President without a party, who had the
            distinction of
            experiencing five rejections of four of his nominees
            in thirteen months.

            Tyler's selections for the Court were all of high
            professional
            quality. It was Tyler, not the individual nominees,
            who was the target
            of the Senate vendetta. Only once in six attempts did
            the President
            succeed in getting his man confirmed--Chief Justice
            Samuel Nelson of
            New York. Nelson was so conspicuously competent that,
            in the interval
            of an uneasy truce between White House and Capitol,
            his name was
            approved and he went onto the bench.

            Tyler, a Democrat, had come to the presidency by
            accident. William
            Henry Harrison had been chosen by the Whigs as their
            candidate for the
            White House in 1840 and Tyler had been his running
            mate. The fact that
            the vice-presidential candidate came from the opposite
            party and had
            almost completely opposite political views seemed to
            the strategists
            of the day to be a masterstroke. In the Number Two
            position, Tyler's
            views would be neutralized while the combination of a
            Whig and a
            Democrat would offer a bipartisan appearance
            calculated to split the
            opposition. To the familiar campaign song of
            "Tippecanoe and Tyler
            Too," the Whigs contented themselves with vilifying
            their opponent,
            Martin Van Buren of New York, and evading a discussion
            of issues which
            would bring their own candidates into conflict with
            each other.

            The whole thing blew up when the elderly Harrison was
            struck by
            pneumonia on the day of his inauguration and died a
            month later. Tyler
            became the first vice president thus to succeed to the
            White House
            because of the death of the incumbent President. He
            immediately served
            notice that his administration would follow a strong
            states' rights
            line; with the Whigs in control of the Senate, this
            overshadowed a
            solid opposition to Tyler nominees, e.g., for the
            Supreme Court, as
            events were to prove. The Whigs, chagrined at having
            lost the fruits
            of the election, turned for leadership to Henry Clay
            of Kentucky, an
            old Tyler foe; as for the Democrats, they not only
            resented Tyler's
            trafficking with the Whigs in the 1840 campaign, but
            they were for the
            most part followers of Van Buren, whose defeat in 1840
            was ascribed in
            large part to the vitriolic attacks of the
            Harrison-Tyler partisans.

            The confrontation began in January 1844, when the
            President sent up a
            nomination of a successor to Justice Smith Thompson,
            who had died the
            previous month. Tyler's first impulse was to play the
            same political
            game that had proved effective--at least up to a
            point--in 1840: he
            would propose Van Buren himself, thus appealing to the
            Democrats for
            restored party harmony while putting his strongest
            rival for the 1844
            Presidential nomination out of contention. Van Buren's
            friends saw
            through the maneuver and persuaded Tyler that Van
            Buren would reject
            the nomination and make Tyler himself a laughing
            stock. The President
            thereupon substituted another New Yorker, John C.
            Spencer--and leapt
            from the frying pan into the fire.

            Spencer was a Whig, but this did nothing to further
            his nomination.
            First, was the fact that he was an anti-Clay Whig;
            second, he had
            accepted appointment to Tyler's Cabinet as Secretary
            of War and
            subsequently Secretary of the Treasury. Finally, his
            narrow, technical
            views on the national banking laws had added to the
            current enmities,
            since it had been a bitter debate over a banking bill
            that had caused
            mass resignations from the Cabinet in 1842. Despite
            acknowledged legal
            competence, "I have no confidence in the political
            integrity of Mr.
            Spencer," wrote a New York political leader to Clay's
            henchman,
            Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, while another
            New York Whig
            stalwart, Francis Granger, declared in the New York
            Herald that ninety
            Whigs out of every hundred would oppose the
            nomination.

            Within three weeks, the Spencer nomination had been
            rejected by the
            Senate, 21-26. For the next six weeks, Tyler sounded
            out a number of
            prospects including--or so it was rumored--the leading
            Philadelphia
            lawyer Horace Binney and the longtime reporter to the
            Supreme Court,
            Henry Wheaton. Finally, on March 13, 1844, the
            President made his
            second formal selection, the chancellor of New York,
            Reuben H.
            Walworth. The Senate showed no disposition to act on
            the nomination,
            and while matters thus drifted along a second Court
            vacancy occurred
            with the death of Justice Henry Baldwin. On June 5
            Tyler sent up a
            second name for the second opening--Judge Edward King
            of Philadelphia.

            Tyler was in an impossible situation, not only with
            respect to his
            Supreme Court nominees but with reference to his
            entire administrative
            program. A courtly Virginian of the old Jeffersonian
            tradition, it had
            been his misfortune to come to national office at a
            time when the
            party of Jefferson was torn between the Van Buren
            faction of the North
            and the Clay faction of the West. Indeed, most of the
            political career
            of this gentle and gentlemanly Southerner was to be a
            history of being
            left behind by changing times. Elected to the Senate
            as an
            anti-Jackson Democrat, he had felt obliged to support
            Jackson against
            Clay, in the deadlock of 1828, as "a choice of evils."
            Yet in 1832
            when the Jacksonian Democrats won control of the
            Virginia legislature
            and returned Tyler to the Senate, it was with
            instructions to vote to
            expunge the resolution which had censured Jackson in
            the heated
            struggle over the Bank of the United States. Unable to
            find it in his
            conscience to do so, Tyler had resigned his seat.

            Tragedy and near-tragedy had marked Tyler's
            presidential years. In
            1842 his first wife had died. Two years later, making
            an official
            visit aboard the warship Princeton, he himself
            narrowly escaped death
            when there was an accidental explosion which killed
            several members of
            the presidential party, including a prominent New
            Yorker, David
            Gardiner. This event did prove to have a happy ending;
            Gardiner's
            daughter, Julia, married the widowed President in June
            1844, providing
            the White House with a gracious First Lady in the
            closing months of
            the administration.

            The couple then retired to the Tyler plantation on the
            James River in
            Virginia. which Tyler had named "Sherwood Forest," in
            wry
            acknowledgement of his own political destiny, which he
            described as
            the role of "Robin Hood" confronting the arrogance of
            power in his own
            time. The choice of the terms apparently was an
            admission of political
            predestination; by the spring of 1844, it was apparent
            that Tyler's
            chances of renomination for the presidency were as
            non-existent as his
            likelihood of getting his Supreme Court nominations
            through the
            Senate. In January 1845 the Senate formally tabled the
            Walworth and
            King nominations.

            That November, the election of James K. Polk had
            settled several
            matters--the diehard efforts of Clay to get into the
            White House, and
            the prospects of both Tyler and Van Buren for future
            political office.
            Another matter which the Polk election settled was the
            ambition of
            Senator Crittenden to get onto the Supreme Court. He
            had first been
            nominated in the last days of John Quincy Adams'
            administration, with
            the Jacksonians in the Senate voting to "postpone"
            action until their
            own man took office a few weeks later. Clay, had he
            been successful in
            his final bid for the White House, presumably would
            have sent up the
            name of his fellow Kentuckian one more time.

            Now, in the last days of the Tyler administration, the
            White House
            sought to accommodate the Senate in the wake of the
            presidential
            election; with political issues settled for the time,
            and with one
            Supreme Court position having been unfilled for a
            year, it could be
            hoped that a policy of reasonableness might govern
            relations between
            President and Senate in these last few months. The
            optimists were to
            prove to be only half right.

            "Better the bench shall be vacant for a year," the
            National
            Intelligencer had editorialized the previous spring,
            "than filled for
            half a century by . . . partisans committed in advance
            to particular
            beliefs." The charge was somewhat exaggerated; while
            Walworth was
            condemned in the Senate as "querulous, disagreeable
            [and] unpopular,"
            he was in many professional respects the best
            qualified of Tyler's
            unsuccessful nominations. For the previous twenty
            years as chancellor
            of New York he had virtually written the law of equity
            pleading and
            rules of evidence, and a substantial majority of his
            opinions had been
            upheld on appeal. Both his predecessor, the renowned
            Chancellor James
            Kent, and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story cited his
            cases as
            authoritative.

            Yet there was no denying that he was cantankerous, to
            a point where
            members of the state bar openly declared that they
            supported his
            nomination for the Supreme Court as a means of getting
            him out of
            their own judiciary. The animus was apparently deep
            rooted; in the new
            constitution of 1846, New York would dispose of the
            problem by
            abolishing the office of chancellor. In January 1845,
            Tyler accepted
            the fact of the massive opposition to Walworth and
            withdrew his name.

            There was no clear objection--other than the Senate's
            anti-Tyler
            fixation--for opposing Judge King, a highly reputed
            Pennsylvanian, and
            the President made one final attempt to override the
            opposition by
            resubmitting King's name. The signs in the Senate were
            so forbidding,
            however, that early in February he withdrew that
            nomination as well.

            Time was now running out; obviously, the anti-Tyler
            forces were
            delaying action until a new administration could take
            over in March.
            But the outgoing President made one further effort,
            and for the two
            vacancies on the Court he finally, on the same day
            that he withdrew
            King's name, submitted two last nominations--Chief
            Justice Samuel
            Nelson of New York and former United States Attorney
            John Meredith
            Read of Philadelphia.

            Nelson, one of the best known state judges in the
            land, was confirmed
            within a week, and took his seat on the Court the day
            after Tyler left
            office. It was to be Tyler's only successful
            nomination for the bench.
            Read, although popular with all faction among the
            Whigs, had
            antislavery views which were anathema to the Southern
            members of the
            Senate, and the term ended without action on his case.

            The sound and fury over the Court vacancies actually
            attracted small
            attention in their day. The struggle between Tyler and
            the
            Congressional opposition involved other issues of more
            burning public
            concern, epitomized in the effort to annex the
            Republic of Texas.
            After the Whig-dominated Senate refused to ratify a
            treaty of
            annexation, Tyler proposed a joint resolution of both
            houses, which
            would require only a simple majority. This tactic
            finally worked, but
            only after the fall elections made certain a new
            Democratic majority
            in Congress. In a sense, the judicial nominations of
            the President
            without a party were innocent bystanders to the larger
            contest; in any
            case, several highly qualified candidates were the
            victims.





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          • Ram Lau
            Don t forget Andrew Johnson, the jerk who got us into all these problems (quoting Trent Lott) for at least another century. Lincoln s intention was good, and
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 30, 2005
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              Don't forget Andrew Johnson, the jerk who got us into "all these
              problems" (quoting Trent Lott) for at least another century. Lincoln's
              intention was good, and he probably didn't to be the first President
              to be assassinated.

              Ram


              --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, THOMAS JOHNSON <AVRCRDNG@F...>
              wrote:
              > Thanks to all for the responses.. my question was
              > certainly answered well. I'm not sure if anyone ever
              > brought in someone for veep outside their own party
              > since, but I'm reasonably sure that if someone did,
              > they didn't deliver a 2 hour inaugural address in
              > freezing temperatures without a coat, as Harrison did.
              > I don't think anyone got off to a worse start than
              > basically freezing himself to death on his first day.
              >
              > Tom
              >
              >
              >
              > --- Ram Lau <ramlau@y...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > http://www.supremecourthistory.org/myweb/77journal/swindler77.htm
              > "Robin Hood," Congress and the Court
              > WILLIAM F. SWINDLER
              >
              > Copyright 1976, Supreme Court Historical Society
              > from the Yearbook 1977 Supreme Court Historical
              > Society
              >
              > Presidents nominate persons for positions on the
              > Supreme Court for a
              > variety of reasons--and in about one case in four, the
              > Senate rejects
              > the nomination for a variety of reasons, mostly
              > political. Altogether,
              > thirty-four persons have been proposed for the Court
              > who did not sit.
              > Seven were confirmed but declined the appointment; one
              > died after
              > confirmation but before he could take his seat; twelve
              > were rejected
              > by recorded vote; the rest were killed off by various
              > types of
              > delaying action, or simply no action.
              >
              > Eight Presidents have had one of their nominations
              > defeated by one
              > senatorial tactic or another; Grover Cleveland and
              > Richard Nixon had
              > two rejections apiece; Millard Fillmore and Ulysses S.
              > Grant, three
              > each. But the record is held, in rather dubious honor,
              > by John Tyler,
              > the unhappy President without a party, who had the
              > distinction of
              > experiencing five rejections of four of his nominees
              > in thirteen months.
              >
              > Tyler's selections for the Court were all of high
              > professional
              > quality. It was Tyler, not the individual nominees,
              > who was the target
              > of the Senate vendetta. Only once in six attempts did
              > the President
              > succeed in getting his man confirmed--Chief Justice
              > Samuel Nelson of
              > New York. Nelson was so conspicuously competent that,
              > in the interval
              > of an uneasy truce between White House and Capitol,
              > his name was
              > approved and he went onto the bench.
              >
              > Tyler, a Democrat, had come to the presidency by
              > accident. William
              > Henry Harrison had been chosen by the Whigs as their
              > candidate for the
              > White House in 1840 and Tyler had been his running
              > mate. The fact that
              > the vice-presidential candidate came from the opposite
              > party and had
              > almost completely opposite political views seemed to
              > the strategists
              > of the day to be a masterstroke. In the Number Two
              > position, Tyler's
              > views would be neutralized while the combination of a
              > Whig and a
              > Democrat would offer a bipartisan appearance
              > calculated to split the
              > opposition. To the familiar campaign song of
              > "Tippecanoe and Tyler
              > Too," the Whigs contented themselves with vilifying
              > their opponent,
              > Martin Van Buren of New York, and evading a discussion
              > of issues which
              > would bring their own candidates into conflict with
              > each other.
              >
              > The whole thing blew up when the elderly Harrison was
              > struck by
              > pneumonia on the day of his inauguration and died a
              > month later. Tyler
              > became the first vice president thus to succeed to the
              > White House
              > because of the death of the incumbent President. He
              > immediately served
              > notice that his administration would follow a strong
              > states' rights
              > line; with the Whigs in control of the Senate, this
              > overshadowed a
              > solid opposition to Tyler nominees, e.g., for the
              > Supreme Court, as
              > events were to prove. The Whigs, chagrined at having
              > lost the fruits
              > of the election, turned for leadership to Henry Clay
              > of Kentucky, an
              > old Tyler foe; as for the Democrats, they not only
              > resented Tyler's
              > trafficking with the Whigs in the 1840 campaign, but
              > they were for the
              > most part followers of Van Buren, whose defeat in 1840
              > was ascribed in
              > large part to the vitriolic attacks of the
              > Harrison-Tyler partisans.
              >
              > The confrontation began in January 1844, when the
              > President sent up a
              > nomination of a successor to Justice Smith Thompson,
              > who had died the
              > previous month. Tyler's first impulse was to play the
              > same political
              > game that had proved effective--at least up to a
              > point--in 1840: he
              > would propose Van Buren himself, thus appealing to the
              > Democrats for
              > restored party harmony while putting his strongest
              > rival for the 1844
              > Presidential nomination out of contention. Van Buren's
              > friends saw
              > through the maneuver and persuaded Tyler that Van
              > Buren would reject
              > the nomination and make Tyler himself a laughing
              > stock. The President
              > thereupon substituted another New Yorker, John C.
              > Spencer--and leapt
              > from the frying pan into the fire.
              >
              > Spencer was a Whig, but this did nothing to further
              > his nomination.
              > First, was the fact that he was an anti-Clay Whig;
              > second, he had
              > accepted appointment to Tyler's Cabinet as Secretary
              > of War and
              > subsequently Secretary of the Treasury. Finally, his
              > narrow, technical
              > views on the national banking laws had added to the
              > current enmities,
              > since it had been a bitter debate over a banking bill
              > that had caused
              > mass resignations from the Cabinet in 1842. Despite
              > acknowledged legal
              > competence, "I have no confidence in the political
              > integrity of Mr.
              > Spencer," wrote a New York political leader to Clay's
              > henchman,
              > Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, while another
              > New York Whig
              > stalwart, Francis Granger, declared in the New York
              > Herald that ninety
              > Whigs out of every hundred would oppose the
              > nomination.
              >
              > Within three weeks, the Spencer nomination had been
              > rejected by the
              > Senate, 21-26. For the next six weeks, Tyler sounded
              > out a number of
              > prospects including--or so it was rumored--the leading
              > Philadelphia
              > lawyer Horace Binney and the longtime reporter to the
              > Supreme Court,
              > Henry Wheaton. Finally, on March 13, 1844, the
              > President made his
              > second formal selection, the chancellor of New York,
              > Reuben H.
              > Walworth. The Senate showed no disposition to act on
              > the nomination,
              > and while matters thus drifted along a second Court
              > vacancy occurred
              > with the death of Justice Henry Baldwin. On June 5
              > Tyler sent up a
              > second name for the second opening--Judge Edward King
              > of Philadelphia.
              >
              > Tyler was in an impossible situation, not only with
              > respect to his
              > Supreme Court nominees but with reference to his
              > entire administrative
              > program. A courtly Virginian of the old Jeffersonian
              > tradition, it had
              > been his misfortune to come to national office at a
              > time when the
              > party of Jefferson was torn between the Van Buren
              > faction of the North
              > and the Clay faction of the West. Indeed, most of the
              > political career
              > of this gentle and gentlemanly Southerner was to be a
              > history of being
              > left behind by changing times. Elected to the Senate
              > as an
              > anti-Jackson Democrat, he had felt obliged to support
              > Jackson against
              > Clay, in the deadlock of 1828, as "a choice of evils."
              > Yet in 1832
              > when the Jacksonian Democrats won control of the
              > Virginia legislature
              > and returned Tyler to the Senate, it was with
              > instructions to vote to
              > expunge the resolution which had censured Jackson in
              > the heated
              > struggle over the Bank of the United States. Unable to
              > find it in his
              > conscience to do so, Tyler had resigned his seat.
              >
              > Tragedy and near-tragedy had marked Tyler's
              > presidential years. In
              > 1842 his first wife had died. Two years later, making
              > an official
              > visit aboard the warship Princeton, he himself
              > narrowly escaped death
              > when there was an accidental explosion which killed
              > several members of
              > the presidential party, including a prominent New
              > Yorker, David
              > Gardiner. This event did prove to have a happy ending;
              > Gardiner's
              > daughter, Julia, married the widowed President in June
              > 1844, providing
              > the White House with a gracious First Lady in the
              > closing months of
              > the administration.
              >
              > The couple then retired to the Tyler plantation on the
              > James River in
              > Virginia. which Tyler had named "Sherwood Forest," in
              > wry
              > acknowledgement of his own political destiny, which he
              > described as
              > the role of "Robin Hood" confronting the arrogance of
              > power in his own
              > time. The choice of the terms apparently was an
              > admission of political
              > predestination; by the spring of 1844, it was apparent
              > that Tyler's
              > chances of renomination for the presidency were as
              > non-existent as his
              > likelihood of getting his Supreme Court nominations
              > through the
              > Senate. In January 1845 the Senate formally tabled the
              > Walworth and
              > King nominations.
              >
              > That November, the election of James K. Polk had
              > settled several
              > matters--the diehard efforts of Clay to get into the
              > White House, and
              > the prospects of both Tyler and Van Buren for future
              > political office.
              > Another matter which the Polk election settled was the
              > ambition of
              > Senator Crittenden to get onto the Supreme Court. He
              > had first been
              > nominated in the last days of John Quincy Adams'
              > administration, with
              > the Jacksonians in the Senate voting to "postpone"
              > action until their
              > own man took office a few weeks later. Clay, had he
              > been successful in
              > his final bid for the White House, presumably would
              > have sent up the
              > name of his fellow Kentuckian one more time.
              >
              > Now, in the last days of the Tyler administration, the
              > White House
              > sought to accommodate the Senate in the wake of the
              > presidential
              > election; with political issues settled for the time,
              > and with one
              > Supreme Court position having been unfilled for a
              > year, it could be
              > hoped that a policy of reasonableness might govern
              > relations between
              > President and Senate in these last few months. The
              > optimists were to
              > prove to be only half right.
              >
              > "Better the bench shall be vacant for a year," the
              > National
              > Intelligencer had editorialized the previous spring,
              > "than filled for
              > half a century by . . . partisans committed in advance
              > to particular
              > beliefs." The charge was somewhat exaggerated; while
              > Walworth was
              > condemned in the Senate as "querulous, disagreeable
              > [and] unpopular,"
              > he was in many professional respects the best
              > qualified of Tyler's
              > unsuccessful nominations. For the previous twenty
              > years as chancellor
              > of New York he had virtually written the law of equity
              > pleading and
              > rules of evidence, and a substantial majority of his
              > opinions had been
              > upheld on appeal. Both his predecessor, the renowned
              > Chancellor James
              > Kent, and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story cited his
              > cases as
              > authoritative.
              >
              > Yet there was no denying that he was cantankerous, to
              > a point where
              > members of the state bar openly declared that they
              > supported his
              > nomination for the Supreme Court as a means of getting
              > him out of
              > their own judiciary. The animus was apparently deep
              > rooted; in the new
              > constitution of 1846, New York would dispose of the
              > problem by
              > abolishing the office of chancellor. In January 1845,
              > Tyler accepted
              > the fact of the massive opposition to Walworth and
              > withdrew his name.
              >
              > There was no clear objection--other than the Senate's
              > anti-Tyler
              > fixation--for opposing Judge King, a highly reputed
              > Pennsylvanian, and
              > the President made one final attempt to override the
              > opposition by
              > resubmitting King's name. The signs in the Senate were
              > so forbidding,
              > however, that early in February he withdrew that
              > nomination as well.
              >
              > Time was now running out; obviously, the anti-Tyler
              > forces were
              > delaying action until a new administration could take
              > over in March.
              > But the outgoing President made one further effort,
              > and for the two
              > vacancies on the Court he finally, on the same day
              > that he withdrew
              > King's name, submitted two last nominations--Chief
              > Justice Samuel
              > Nelson of New York and former United States Attorney
              > John Meredith
              > Read of Philadelphia.
              >
              > Nelson, one of the best known state judges in the
              > land, was confirmed
              > within a week, and took his seat on the Court the day
              > after Tyler left
              > office. It was to be Tyler's only successful
              > nomination for the bench.
              > Read, although popular with all faction among the
              > Whigs, had
              > antislavery views which were anathema to the Southern
              > members of the
              > Senate, and the term ended without action on his case.
              >
              > The sound and fury over the Court vacancies actually
              > attracted small
              > attention in their day. The struggle between Tyler and
              > the
              > Congressional opposition involved other issues of more
              > burning public
              > concern, epitomized in the effort to annex the
              > Republic of Texas.
              > After the Whig-dominated Senate refused to ratify a
              > treaty of
              > annexation, Tyler proposed a joint resolution of both
              > houses, which
              > would require only a simple majority. This tactic
              > finally worked, but
              > only after the fall elections made certain a new
              > Democratic majority
              > in Congress. In a sense, the judicial nominations of
              > the President
              > without a party were innocent bystanders to the larger
              > contest; in any
              > case, several highly qualified candidates were the
              > victims.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
              >
              >
              > Visit your group "prezveepsenator" on the web.
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > prezveepsenator-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
              > Terms of Service.
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
            • THOMAS JOHNSON
              Ram s last post got me curious about Andrew Johnson. What was a white supremacist Democrat doing on the ticket anyway? From an article
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 31, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                Ram's last post got me curious about Andrew Johnson.
                What was a white supremacist Democrat doing on the
                ticket anyway? From an article
                (http://www.americanpresident.org/history/andrewjohnson/biography/resources/Articles/KunhardtAJohnsonBio.article.shtml
                ) by Philip Kuhhardt:

                During the Civil War, Johnson became the only senator
                from a seceding state to remain in Washington and back
                the Union. "Damn the negroes," he explained to a
                Northern general; "I am fighting those traitorous
                aristocrats, their masters." The following year, even
                though he was a Democrat and Lincoln a Republican, the
                President rewarded his loyalty by naming him wartime
                governor of Tennessee. And in 1864, after Johnson
                publicly supported Lincoln's policy of emancipation,
                he was chosen to run on the Union ticket for vice
                president. On November 8, they won the election.

                But the President soon had reason to regret his
                choice, for Johnson's behavior at the inauguration was
                a severe embarrassment. Having taken considerable
                whiskey to fortify himself from a recent illness, the
                swaying, stammering, beet-red vice president called on
                each cabinet member by name, telling them in turn that
                they were plebeians-creatures of the people.

                "I'm a-goin' for to tell you here today," he sang out.
                "Yes, I'm a-goin' for to tell you all, that I'm a
                plebeian. I glory in it. The people, yes, the people
                have made me what I am. And I am a-goin' for to tell
                you here today, yes, today, in this place, that the
                people are everything!"

                "To think," said an editorial in the New York World,
                "that one frail life stands between this insolent,
                clownish creature and the Presidency."

                Little more than a month later, Lincoln was killed,
                and the fifty-six-year-old Democrat from Tennessee was
                sworn in as the seventeenth President. "I have been
                almost overwhelmed by the sad event," Johnson uttered
                in a brief statement from his hotel room after taking
                the oath of office. "I feel incompetent to perform . .
                . duties so unexpectedly thrown upon me."

                From the beginning, everything in Johnson's presidency
                went wrong. Although he retained Lincoln's entire
                cabinet, he resisted calling upon their experience and
                wisdom. And instead of cultivating Republican leaders
                in Congress, he allowed his differences with them
                regarding the difficult problem of Reconstruction to
                set them off on a collision course.

                Unlike the majority of Congress who wanted to
                safeguard black rights and hold the South accountable,
                Johnson was determined to remain faithful to what he
                saw as Lincoln's policy of leniency. On May 29, he
                announced a general amnesty to former Confederates, to
                be supplemented by presidential pardons for the top
                leaders of secession.

                Bolstered by the President's strong support and
                sympathy, Southern states began reinstating many of
                their old leaders, acting as if the Civil War had
                never been fought. Four Confederate generals, five
                colonels, and even the former vice president of the
                Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, were elected to
                Congress.

                Outraged, Congress refused to seat them. Instead,
                acting on what it called the true spirit of Lincoln,
                it passed a bill to provide federal aid to liberated
                slaves, which Johnson quickly vetoed, and then a
                sweeping civil rights bill declaring blacks to be full
                citizens of the United States. Johnson vetoed again.
                "I am right. I know I am right, and I am damned if I
                do not adhere to it," he insisted. When Congress, by a
                two-thirds vote, overrode this second veto, it became
                open war.

                To seek support from the American people, Johnson set
                out on a cross-country speaking tour. But his
                undignified harangues only increased his unpopularity.
                "Congress has undertaken to poison the minds of the
                American people," Johnson blasted. "This common gang
                of cormorants and bloodsuckers have been fattening
                upon the country for the past four or five years. . .
                . [They think] everybody is a traitor that is against
                them."

                With Congress taking full control of Reconstruction,
                Johnson was now virtually ignored, referred to by one
                observer as "the dead dog of the White House." Former
                Congressman Isaac N. Arnold, in a letter to the
                President, wrote, "You have betrayed the great . . .
                party which elected Abraham Lincoln."

                In March 1867, to further constrain him, Congress
                passed the Tenure of Office Act, forbidding the
                President to dismiss his top officials without the
                Senate's concurrence. In defiance, Johnson ignored the
                law and fired Edwin Stanton, the secretary of war,
                claiming he was disloyal. Republicans became convinced
                that Johnson had committed a convictable crime, and in
                the following year, Congress voted to impeach.
                "Impeachment of me for violating the Constitution!"
                Johnson exclaimed. "Damn them! Have I not been
                struggling ever since I have been in this chair to
                uphold the Constitution which they trample under
                foot[?]"

                In the embattled White House, Johnson wondered and
                waited, kept informed of the proceedings in the Senate
                chamber through eyewitness reports. And then, after
                more than a month, the day of decision arrived. In the
                end it all came down to one man's vote, that of Edmund
                G. Ross, a Republican senator from Kansas, to whom
                Johnson had promised that he would soften his
                opposition to congressional Reconstruction. "Not
                guilty!" Ross intoned. The news was run by foot to the
                White House, where on hearing it, the President wept.

                "I intend to devote the remainder of my life," he
                said, "to the vindication of my own character."

                Never before had two branches of the government been
                at such odds, or the office of the presidency been so
                diminished. And much of it-though not all-had been
                Andrew Johnson's fault. Stubborn and independent, at
                his best moments heroically so, he was also crude and
                uncompromising and lacking in any sympathy for black
                Americans. And he was unable to lead the country
                through the massive challenges of Reconstruction.

                In November 1868, General Ulysses S. Grant was elected
                President, and after four months Johnson returned to
                Tennessee. "I have performed my duty to my God, my
                country, and my family," he would insist. "I have
                nothing to fear." In an attempt to restore his
                reputation, Johnson ran for a seat in Congress, losing
                a Senate race in 1869 and a House race in 1972 before
                finally winning a spot in the U.S. Senate in 1874.
                When news of his victory in Tennessee reached
                him-making him the only former President ever to be
                elected to the Senate-the old fighter grew emotional.
                "I'd rather have this information than to learn that I
                had been elected president of the United States. Thank
                God for the vindication."









                Copyright 2003 The Rector and Visitors of the
                University of Virginia
                last updated on 01/19/2005 - 02:13



                Here are a few more details of his impeachment
                borrowed from the Wikipedia:


                Congress and Johnson argued in an increasingly public
                way about Reconstruction: the manner in which the
                Southern secessionist states would be readmitted to
                the Union. Johnson favored a very quick restoration of
                all rights and privileges of other states. However,
                "Congressional Reconstruction", enforced by repeated
                acts passed over Johnson's veto, provided for
                provisional state governments run by the military and
                ensuring the local passage of civil rights laws and
                otherwise imposing the will of the United States
                Congress — which, of course, was run by the North.
                Johnson's public criticisms of Congress provoked much
                talk of impeachment over the months.
                On February 21, 1868, Johnson notified Congress that
                he had removed Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War, and
                was replacing him in the interim with Adjutant-General
                Lorenzo Thomas. This was an apparent violation of the
                Tenure-of-Office Act, made law in March of 1867, which
                was a law that Congress had specifically designed to
                protect Stanton. The Act said, "...every person
                holding any civil office, to which he has been
                appointed by and with the advice and consent of the
                Senate ... shall be entitled to hold such office until
                a successor shall have been in like manner appointed
                and duly qualified," thus removing the President's
                previous unlimited power to fire any of his Cabinet
                members at will. Johnson had previously vetoed the
                Act, claiming it was unconstitutional, and
                subsequently Congress had passed the Act again by the
                required two-thirds majority to make it law, over the
                objection of the President. (Years later in Myers v.
                United States (1926), the Supreme Court ruled that
                such laws were indeed unconstitutional.)


                President Andrew Johnson
                The Senate and House entered into hot debate. Thomas
                attempted to move into the War office, for which
                Stanton had Thomas arrested. Three days after
                Stanton's removal, the House passed a resolution to
                impeach Johnson for "high crimes and misdemeanors",
                specifically, for intentionally violating the
                Tenure-of-Office Act and thus violating the law of the
                land, which he had sworn an oath to enforce.
                On March 5, 1868 a court of impeachment was organized
                in the Senate to hear charges against the President.
                William M. Evarts served as his counsel. Eleven
                articles were set out in the resolution and the trial
                before the Senate lasted three months. Johnson's
                defense was based on a clause in the Tenure-of-Office
                Act stating that the then-current Secretaries would
                hold their posts throughout the term of the President
                who appointed them. Since Lincoln had appointed
                Stanton, it was claimed, the applicability of the Act
                had already run its course.
                Johnson was acquitted by a vote of thirty-five for
                conviction to nineteen for acquittal. He had avoided
                removal from office by a single vote. There were two
                votes in the Senate: one on May 16, 1868 for the 11th
                article, and another on May 26 for the other 10.
                Johnson was the first President to be impeached, and
                the only one until the impeachment of Bill Clinton on
                December 19, 1998.
                [edit]


                --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:


                ---------------------------------
                Don't forget Andrew Johnson, the jerk who got us into
                "all these
                problems" (quoting Trent Lott) for at least another
                century. Lincoln's
                intention was good, and he probably didn't to be the
                first President
                to be assassinated.

                Ram


                --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, THOMAS JOHNSON
                <AVRCRDNG@F...>
                wrote:
                > Thanks to all for the responses.. my question was
                > certainly answered well. I'm not sure if anyone ever
                > brought in someone for veep outside their own party
                > since, but I'm reasonably sure that if someone did,
                > they didn't deliver a 2 hour inaugural address in
                > freezing temperatures without a coat, as Harrison
                did.
                > I don't think anyone got off to a worse start than
                > basically freezing himself to death on his first
                day.
                >
                > Tom
                >
                >
                >
                > --- Ram Lau <ramlau@y...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                >
                http://www.supremecourthistory.org/myweb/77journal/swindler77.htm
                > "Robin Hood," Congress and the Court
                > WILLIAM F. SWINDLER
                >
                > Copyright 1976, Supreme Court Historical Society
                > from the Yearbook 1977 Supreme Court Historical
                > Society
                >
                > Presidents nominate persons for positions on the
                > Supreme Court for a
                > variety of reasons--and in about one case in four,
                the
                > Senate rejects
                > the nomination for a variety of reasons, mostly
                > political. Altogether,
                > thirty-four persons have been proposed for the Court
                > who did not sit.
                > Seven were confirmed but declined the appointment;
                one
                > died after
                > confirmation but before he could take his seat;
                twelve
                > were rejected
                > by recorded vote; the rest were killed off by
                various
                > types of
                > delaying action, or simply no action.
                >
                > Eight Presidents have had one of their nominations
                > defeated by one
                > senatorial tactic or another; Grover Cleveland and
                > Richard Nixon had
                > two rejections apiece; Millard Fillmore and Ulysses
                S.
                > Grant, three
                > each. But the record is held, in rather dubious
                honor,
                > by John Tyler,
                > the unhappy President without a party, who had the
                > distinction of
                > experiencing five rejections of four of his nominees
                > in thirteen months.
                >
                > Tyler's selections for the Court were all of high
                > professional
                > quality. It was Tyler, not the individual nominees,
                > who was the target
                > of the Senate vendetta. Only once in six attempts
                did
                > the President
                > succeed in getting his man confirmed--Chief Justice
                > Samuel Nelson of
                > New York. Nelson was so conspicuously competent
                that,
                > in the interval
                > of an uneasy truce between White House and Capitol,
                > his name was
                > approved and he went onto the bench.
                >
                > Tyler, a Democrat, had come to the presidency by
                > accident. William
                > Henry Harrison had been chosen by the Whigs as their
                > candidate for the
                > White House in 1840 and Tyler had been his running
                > mate. The fact that
                > the vice-presidential candidate came from the
                opposite
                > party and had
                > almost completely opposite political views seemed to
                > the strategists
                > of the day to be a masterstroke. In the Number Two
                > position, Tyler's
                > views would be neutralized while the combination of
                a
                > Whig and a
                > Democrat would offer a bipartisan appearance
                > calculated to split the
                > opposition. To the familiar campaign song of
                > "Tippecanoe and Tyler
                > Too," the Whigs contented themselves with vilifying
                > their opponent,
                > Martin Van Buren of New York, and evading a
                discussion
                > of issues which
                > would bring their own candidates into conflict with
                > each other.
                >
                > The whole thing blew up when the elderly Harrison
                was
                > struck by
                > pneumonia on the day of his inauguration and died a
                > month later. Tyler
                > became the first vice president thus to succeed to
                the
                > White House
                > because of the death of the incumbent President. He
                > immediately served
                > notice that his administration would follow a strong
                > states' rights
                > line; with the Whigs in control of the Senate, this
                > overshadowed a
                > solid opposition to Tyler nominees, e.g., for the
                > Supreme Court, as
                > events were to prove. The Whigs, chagrined at having
                > lost the fruits
                > of the election, turned for leadership to Henry Clay
                > of Kentucky, an
                > old Tyler foe; as for the Democrats, they not only
                > resented Tyler's
                > trafficking with the Whigs in the 1840 campaign, but
                > they were for the
                > most part followers of Van Buren, whose defeat in
                1840
                > was ascribed in
                > large part to the vitriolic attacks of the
                > Harrison-Tyler partisans.
                >
                > The confrontation began in January 1844, when the
                > President sent up a
                > nomination of a successor to Justice Smith Thompson,
                > who had died the
                > previous month. Tyler's first impulse was to play
                the
                > same political
                > game that had proved effective--at least up to a
                > point--in 1840: he
                > would propose Van Buren himself, thus appealing to
                the
                > Democrats for
                > restored party harmony while putting his strongest
                > rival for the 1844
                > Presidential nomination out of contention. Van
                Buren's
                > friends saw
                > through the maneuver and persuaded Tyler that Van
                > Buren would reject
                > the nomination and make Tyler himself a laughing
                > stock. The President
                > thereupon substituted another New Yorker, John C.
                > Spencer--and leapt
                > from the frying pan into the fire.
                >
                > Spencer was a Whig, but this did nothing to further
                > his nomination.
                > First, was the fact that he was an anti-Clay Whig;
                > second, he had
                > accepted appointment to Tyler's Cabinet as Secretary
                > of War and
                > subsequently Secretary of the Treasury. Finally, his
                > narrow, technical
                > views on the national banking laws had added to the
                > current enmities,
                > since it had been a bitter debate over a banking
                bill
                > that had caused
                > mass resignations from the Cabinet in 1842. Despite
                > acknowledged legal
                > competence, "I have no confidence in the political
                > integrity of Mr.
                > Spencer," wrote a New York political leader to
                Clay's
                > henchman,
                > Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, while
                another
                > New York Whig
                > stalwart, Francis Granger, declared in the New York
                > Herald that ninety
                > Whigs out of every hundred would oppose the
                > nomination.
                >
                > Within three weeks, the Spencer nomination had been
                > rejected by the
                > Senate, 21-26. For the next six weeks, Tyler sounded
                > out a number of
                > prospects including--or so it was rumored--the
                leading
                > Philadelphia
                > lawyer Horace Binney and the longtime reporter to
                the
                > Supreme Court,
                > Henry Wheaton. Finally, on March 13, 1844, the
                > President made his
                > second formal selection, the chancellor of New York,
                > Reuben H.
                > Walworth. The Senate showed no disposition to act on
                > the nomination,
                > and while matters thus drifted along a second Court
                > vacancy occurred
                > with the death of Justice Henry Baldwin. On June 5
                > Tyler sent up a
                > second name for the second opening--Judge Edward
                King
                > of Philadelphia.
                >
                > Tyler was in an impossible situation, not only with
                > respect to his
                > Supreme Court nominees but with reference to his
                > entire administrative
                > program. A courtly Virginian of the old Jeffersonian
                > tradition, it had
                > been his misfortune to come to national office at a
                > time when the
                > party of Jefferson was torn between the Van Buren
                > faction of the North
                > and the Clay faction of the West. Indeed, most of
                the
                > political career
                > of this gentle and gentlemanly Southerner was to be
                a
                > history of being
                > left behind by changing times. Elected to the Senate
                > as an
                > anti-Jackson Democrat, he had felt obliged to
                support
                > Jackson against
                > Clay, in the deadlock of 1828, as "a choice of
                evils."
                > Yet in 1832
                > when the Jacksonian Democrats won control of the
                > Virginia legislature
                > and returned Tyler to the Senate, it was with
                > instructions to vote to
                > expunge the resolution which had censured Jackson in
                > the heated
                > struggle over the Bank of the United States. Unable
                to
                > find it in his
                > conscience to do so, Tyler had resigned his seat.
                >
                > Tragedy and near-tragedy had marked Tyler's
                > presidential years. In
                > 1842 his first wife had died. Two years later,
                making
                > an official
                > visit aboard the warship Princeton, he himself
                > narrowly escaped death
                > when there was an accidental explosion which killed
                > several members of
                > the presidential party, including a prominent New
                > Yorker, David
                > Gardiner. This event did prove to have a happy
                ending;
                > Gardiner's
                > daughter, Julia, married the widowed President in
                June
                > 1844, providing
                > the White House with a gracious First Lady in the
                > closing months of
                > the administration.
                >
                > The couple then retired to the Tyler plantation on
                the
                > James River in
                > Virginia. which Tyler had named "Sherwood Forest,"
                in
                > wry
                > acknowledgement of his own political destiny, which
                he
                > described as
                > the role of "Robin Hood" confronting the arrogance
                of
                > power in his own
                > time. The choice of the terms apparently was an
                > admission of political
                > predestination; by the spring of 1844, it was
                apparent
                > that Tyler's
                > chances of renomination for the presidency were as
                > non-existent as his
                > likelihood of getting his Supreme Court nominations
                > through the
                > Senate. In January 1845 the Senate formally tabled
                the
                > Walworth and
                > King nominations.
                >
                > That November, the election of James K. Polk had
                > settled several
                > matters--the diehard efforts of Clay to get into the
                > White House, and
                > the prospects of both Tyler and Van Buren for future
                > political office.
                > Another matter which the Polk election settled was
                the
                > ambition of
                > Senator Crittenden to get onto the Supreme Court. He
                > had first been
                > nominated in the last days of John Quincy Adams'
                > administration, with
                > the Jacksonians in the Senate voting to "postpone"
                > action until their
                > own man took office a few weeks later. Clay, had he
                > been successful in
                > his final bid for the White House, presumably would
                > have sent up the
                > name of his fellow Kentuckian one more time.
                >
                > Now, in the last days of the Tyler administration,
                the
                > White House
                > sought to accommodate the Senate in the wake of the
                > presidential
                > election; with political issues settled for the
                time,
                > and with one
                > Supreme Court position having been unfilled for a
                > year, it could be
                > hoped that a policy of reasonableness might govern
                > relations between
                > President and Senate in these last few months. The
                > optimists were to
                > prove to be only half right.
                >
                > "Better the bench shall be vacant for a year," the
                > National
                > Intelligencer had editorialized the previous spring,
                > "than filled for
                > half a century by . . . partisans committed in
                advance
                > to particular
                > beliefs." The charge was somewhat exaggerated; while
                > Walworth was
                > condemned in the Senate as "querulous, disagreeable
                > [and] unpopular,"
                > he was in many professional respects the best
                > qualified of Tyler's
                > unsuccessful nominations. For the previous twenty
                > years as chancellor
                > of New York he had virtually written the law of
                equity
                > pleading and
                > rules of evidence, and a substantial majority of his
                > opinions had been
                > upheld on appeal. Both his predecessor, the renowned
                > Chancellor James
                > Kent, and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story cited
                his
                > cases as
                > authoritative.
                >
                > Yet there was no denying that he was cantankerous,
                to
                > a point where
                > members of the state bar openly declared that they
                > supported his
                > nomination for the Supreme Court as a means of
                getting
                > him out of
                > their own judiciary. The animus was apparently deep
                > rooted; in the new
                > constitution of 1846, New York would dispose of the
                > problem by
                > abolishing the office of chancellor. In January
                1845,
                > Tyler accepted
                > the fact of the massive opposition to Walworth and
                > withdrew his name.
                >
                > There was no clear objection--other than the
                Senate's
                > anti-Tyler
                > fixation--for opposing Judge King, a highly reputed
                > Pennsylvanian, and
                > the President made one final attempt to override the
                > opposition by
                > resubmitting King's name. The signs in the Senate
                were
                > so forbidding,
                > however, that early in February he withdrew that
                > nomination as well.
                >
                > Time was now running out; obviously, the anti-Tyler
                > forces were
                > delaying action until a new administration could
                take
                > over in March.
                > But the outgoing President made one further effort,
                > and for the two
                > vacancies on the Court he finally, on the same day
                > that he withdrew
                > King's name, submitted two last nominations--Chief
                > Justice Samuel
                > Nelson of New York and former United States Attorney
                > John Meredith
                > Read of Philadelphia.
                >
                > Nelson, one of the best known state judges in the
                > land, was confirmed
                > within a week, and took his seat on the Court the
                day
                > after Tyler left
                > office. It was to be Tyler's only successful
                > nomination for the bench.
                > Read, although popular with all faction among the
                > Whigs, had
                > antislavery views which were anathema to the
                Southern
                > members of the
                > Senate, and the term ended without action on his
                case.
                >
                > The sound and fury over the Court vacancies actually
                > attracted small
                > attention in their day. The struggle between Tyler
                and
                > the
                > Congressional opposition involved other issues of
                more
                > burning public
                > concern, epitomized in the effort to annex the
                > Republic of Texas.
                > After the Whig-dominated Senate refused to ratify a
                > treaty of
                > annexation, Tyler proposed a joint resolution of
                both
                > houses, which
                > would require only a simple majority. This tactic
                > finally worked, but
                > only after the fall elections made certain a new
                > Democratic majority
                > in Congress. In a sense, the judicial nominations of
                > the President
                > without a party were innocent bystanders to the
                larger
                > contest; in any
                > case, several highly qualified candidates were the
                > victims.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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              • Ram Lau
                ... Tom, The reason why Lincoln picked a Democrat as his running mate was because of his unpopularity in 1864 and the fact that the country was deeply
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 31, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  > Ram's last post got me curious about Andrew Johnson.
                  > What was a white supremacist Democrat doing on the
                  > ticket anyway? From an article

                  Tom,

                  The reason why Lincoln picked a Democrat as his "running mate" was
                  because of his unpopularity in 1864 and the fact that the country was
                  deeply divided. He thought that move would secure his re-election bid,
                  and more importantly, appease the South.

                  If McCain had the decency to be Kerry's Andrew Johnson in 2004, that
                  would have been a winning cross-party ticket since Linoln-Johnson.

                  Ram
                • THOMAS JOHNSON
                  Let s see.. two cross-party tickets; in both cases, the president dies within a month or so, and both VPs go on to have miserable presidencies. It s not hard
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 1, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Let's see.. two cross-party tickets; in both cases,
                    the president dies within a month or so, and both VPs
                    go on to have miserable presidencies. It's not hard to
                    see why it's not more common.

                    --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:


                    ---------------------------------
                    > Ram's last post got me curious about Andrew Johnson.
                    > What was a white supremacist Democrat doing on the
                    > ticket anyway? From an article

                    Tom,

                    The reason why Lincoln picked a Democrat as his
                    "running mate" was
                    because of his unpopularity in 1864 and the fact that
                    the country was
                    deeply divided. He thought that move would secure his
                    re-election bid,
                    and more importantly, appease the South.

                    If McCain had the decency to be Kerry's Andrew Johnson
                    in 2004, that
                    would have been a winning cross-party ticket since
                    Linoln-Johnson.

                    Ram






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