Today’s Notable U. S. Birthday
Morrison R. Waite – 7th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Chief Justice Waite never became a significant intellectual force on the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, managerial and social skill, “especially his good humor and sensitivity to others, helped him to maintain a remarkably harmonious and productive court.” During Waite’s tenure, it decided some 3,470 cases. In part, the large number of cases decided and the variety of issues confronted reflected the lack of discretion the Court had at the time in hearing appeals from lower federal and state courts. However, Waite demonstrated an ability to get his brethren to reach decisions and write opinions without delay. His own work habits and output were formidable—he drafted one-third of these opinions.