Has Anyone Been Both a US President and a US Supreme Court Justice?

William Howard Taft is the only person to have been both the President of the United States and a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Taft served as President from 1909 to 1913, then as the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1921 to 1930, until he resigned because of bad health. A lawyer by profession, Taft had wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice for long before he became President, and he had even been nominated by President Theodore Roosevelt several times to be a Supreme Court Justice but had to turn down the nomination each time because of other political responsibilities. Taft also became the youngest U.S. Solicitor General at age 32 and later served as an Acting Attorney General.

More facts about the U.S. Supreme Court:

  • There have been at least five U.S. Supreme Court Justices who had no legal training at a college level, including Samuel Chase, one of the signatories to the Declaration of Indpendence; and James F. Byrnes, who was a Supreme Court Justice from 1941 to 1942 and is one of the few U.S. politicians to have been active in state government and all three branches of the federal government.

  • Harvard Law School has produced the most U.S. Supreme Court Justices, with 17 justices being Harvard alumni. Yale Law School and Columbia Law School are the only two other law schools to have produced more than four Supreme Court Justices.

  • The longest-serving Supreme Court Justice was William Orville Douglas, who served from 1939 to 1975.

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