American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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First Justices of The Court

George Washington (1732-1799) to the U.S. Senate
George Washington (1732-1799)
to the U.S. Senate

Letterbook copy in a clerical hand,
September 24, 1789
Manuscript Division
State Department transfer, 1909 (108.2)

( November 21, 2002 )

Content

George Washington nominated John Jay of New York as the first chief justice and named five other men as associate justices of the newly established U.S. Supreme Court. President Washington tried to maintain a geographical and economic balance to the Supreme Court based respectively on division of northern, middle, and southern states and commercial and agricultural interests. In making these appointments, Washington also considered experience in public affairs and attachment to the new federal Constitution. Washington's letter also nominates federal district judges, attorneys, and marshalls.

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