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10 Unsuccessful Senate Confirmations


6
G. Harrold Carswell
Nebraska senator Roman Hruska (center), gave an impassioned speech on the virtues of mediocrity.
Nebraska senator Roman Hruska (center), gave an impassioned speech on the virtues of mediocrity.
Hank Walker/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

G. Harrold Carswell, a Florida judge of questionable experience and qualifications, served as a thumb to the nose of the U.S. Senate, sent courtesy of President Richard Nixon. Nixon nominated Carswell after the Senate rejected Clement Haynsworth, Nixon's first choice to fill Abe Fortas' seat on the Supreme Court.

The Senate rejected Carswell after allegations of racism surfaced. Ironically, the most memorable player in this entire saga wasn't Carswell, but an advocate of his, Nebraska senator Roman Hruska. During Senate debate over Carswell's nomination, Hruska gave a memorable, if unhelpful, speech on Carswell's behalf. Hruska remarked: "Even if he is mediocre there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to representation, aren't they, and a little chance?" [source: U.S. Senate].


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