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Myers v. United States

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft (1857-1930) was the only American to hold the offices of president of the United States (1909-13) and chief justice of the Supreme Court (1921-30.) As president, he appointed more Supreme Court justices, proportionately, than anyone before or since: six in a single four-year term. As chief justice of the Supreme Court, he was not noted for his opinions, but he introduced several significant changes in how the Court operated.

Taft graduated from Yale in 1878 as salutatorian and earned top honors at Cincinnati Law School in 1880. In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison appointed him solicitor general of the United States, and, in 1892, he became a federal judge. President William McKinley appointed Taft chairman of a special commission to the Philippines in 1900, and, in 1904, he became secretary of war under Roosevelt. In 1908, he won election as president over Democrat William Jennings Bryan.

In 1921, Taft was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Warren G. Harding. Although his was the era of Prohibition and other weighty legal concerns, his primary successes as chief justice were administrative. In February of 1930, Taft retired from the Court at age 73. He died a month later.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940Myers v. United States - Significance, History Of Appointment And Removal Powers, A Former President Defends Presidential Powers, Three Strong Dissents