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America’s Unwritten Constitution by Akhil Reed Amar

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CHAPTER 9

INTERPRETING GOVERNMENT PRACTICES

America’s Institutional Constitution

Named to the Supreme Court by President Eisenhower during a Senate recess in 1958, Potter Stewart was one of a long line of recess appointees to the federal bench. The practice of judicial recess appointments began under President Washington and has continued into the twenty-first century. Since Stewart, the recess appointment process—in which an appointee provisionally takes office prior to Senate confirmation—has not been used to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, but has repeatedly been used for inferior-federal-court appointments.

POTTER STEWART (1976).

Named to the Supreme Court by President Eisenhower during a Senate recess in 1958, Potter Stewart was one of a long line of recess appointees to the federal bench. The practice of judicial recess appointments began under President Washington and has continued into the twenty-first century. Since Stewart, the recess appointment process—in which an appointee provisionally takes office prior to Senate confirmation—has not been used to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, but has repeatedly been used for inferior-federal-court appointments.

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