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The Question:

Who is the only U.S. President in the 20th century not to appoint a chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court?

The Answer:

Actually, a majority of 20th century presidents have not appointed a chief justice. A total of 18 presidents served during the 20th century and eight of them have appointed chief justices, while ten have not.

The only president serving in the 20th century not to appoint any Supreme Court Justice was Jimmy Carter. All the other presidents serving in the 20th century appointed at least one Supreme Court Justice.

The nine presidents and the chief justices they have appointed are:

  • President William Howard Taft appointed Chief Justice Edward Douglass White
  • Warren G. Harding appointed William Howard Taft
  • Herbert Hoover appointed Charles Evans Hughes
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Harlan Fiske Stone
  • Harry Truman appointed Fred Moore Vinson
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren
  • Richard M. Nixon appointed Warren E. Burger
  • Ronald W. Reagan appointed William Rehnquist
  • George W. Bush appointed John Roberts

Presidents serving in the 20th century who have not appointed chief justices are:

  • William McKinley
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Calvin Coolidge
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Gerald Ford
  • Jimmy Carter
  • George H. W. Bush
  • Bill Clinton

Use these links to read more about U.S. presidents and members of the Supreme Court of the United States.

—The Editors


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