The Supreme Court
Waite Court, 1874 to 1888
Ulysses Grant again wanted to use the appointment of chief justice for repaying political favors, just as Lincoln had done. Luckily for the court he failed to get his appointments confirmed and instead named Morrison Waite. Waite was considered competent legally, but was not a strong leader. The Court's rulings during his tenure primarily were seen as tools to heal the rifts of the Civil War and the Reconstruction period that followed. He did help to restore some of the damage done to the image of the court by the Dred Scott ruling and the political maneuverings of Chase.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Supreme Court © 2004 by Lita Epstein, J.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.