Today in History: The Judiciary Act of 1789 Was Enacted

September 24th, 2012

The Judiciary Act of 1789 is passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. That day, President Washington nominated John Jay to preside as chief justice, and John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson to be associate justices. On September 26, all six appointments were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

From the History Channel, which apparently is still writing about history, and not aliens. And more from the National Constitution Center.

Can you imagine the Judiciary Act being passed, and immediately the President nominating a Chief Justice and five Associate Justices, all on the same day? And all nominees being confirmed two days later!?

What an amazing act! Except for expanding the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction to include the power of mandamus. Totally unconstitutional.

H/T Cara Tucker