Waite

w-waite-full
Chief Justice Morrison Waite.

Appointed by Ulysses Grant in 1874, Waite served for 14 years. Like many of Grant’s Supreme Court nominees, he worked to roll back racial protections for African-Americans. This makes me wonder why Grant’s supposed belief in racial equality has improved his standing among both historians and progressives. Almost all of his judicial choices were terrible on race and you’d think that in an age when we pay so much attention to judges generally and the Supreme Court especially, people would take this into account. Those who promote Grant’s presidency point to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 which he signed. But his own judges, including Waite, overturned the law in the Civil Rights Cases (1883). So I have yet to see a compelling case for the argument that Grant was a good president on racial issues.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s