Fortas Rejects Concept of Sectarian Seat on United States Supreme Court

Former Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, the last Jew to serve on the country’s highest judicial bench, rejected the notion today that there should be a “Jewish seat” on the court, a Catholic seat, a Negro seat or even a “Wasp seat,” Mr. Fortas said in a speech before the National Press Club that members of the court should be appointed on the basis of merit with no reference to race or religion. Mr. Fortas. who was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President Lyndon B. Johnson and later nominated by him for the Chief Justice ship, resigned last year following a controversy over his financial dealings.

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