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Major Supreme Court Cases (President Infinity Alternate Elections)

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The following is a list and description of major Supreme Court cases from the US Supreme Court.

Washington v. Burr

Background

To replace outgoing Chief of Staff Alexander Hamilton, President George Washington selected his nephew, Bushrod Washington. Several Senators objected to the appointment because they did not want a family member of the President in the Cabinet. These Senators claimed that the Advice and Consent Clause gave them the right to vote on the appointment while Washington claimed that the clause did not apply to the Chief of Staff. A group of Senators, represented by Aaron Burr appealed directly to the Supreme Court to settle the dispute.

Participants

Plaintiff

  • Various United States Senators, represented by New York Senator Aaron Burr

Defendant

  • Administration of George Washington, represented by President George Washington; represented in court by Attorney-General Samuel Hitchcock

Decision

Chief Justice John Adams, in concurrence with Justices Paterson, Law, and Iredell, concluded that the Advice and Consent Clause did not apply to the Chief of Staff because the position served only the President and headed no agencies. Justice Nathaniel Pendleton dissented on the ground that because the Chief of Staff served in the Cabinet, he was subject to Senate approval.

Result

President Washington appointed Bushrod as the new Chief of Staff, and the Senate was not consulted to advise or vote on the appointment.

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