Jump to content
The Political Lounge

Favorable or Unfavorable #118: Pierce Butler (II)


Favorable or Unfavorable #118: Pierce Butler (II)  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. Did you read my first comment?

  2. 2. Favorable or Unfavorable #118: Pierce Butler (II)

    • Favorable
    • Unfavorable

Recommended Posts

Justice Pierce Butler of MN was one of the more conservative judges of his time and one of the first Catholics. His confirmation was strongly opposed by progressives, labor unions, and because he was Catholic, the KKK. I think Harding's appointment was made, not only to gain Catholic support (he wasn't going to win the KKK heavy South, so upsetting them wasn't an issue) but possibly to normalize Catholic politicians in politics. It might be possible that if Butler wasn't made a justice in 1922, that Al Smith might not have been Democratic nominee in 1928. Who knows. 

This Pierce Butler is not related (at least not recently) to the more famous Pierce Butler of South Carolina, who only has 4 actions and, therefore, no poll. Most of Butler's actions are before the 1788 election. This Pierce Butler was born in Ireland, descendant of significant Anglo-Irish nobility, and Justice Butler's parents were both born in Ireland (explains the Catholicism), so the two Butlers are possibly distant cousins with a common Butler ancestor in Ireland. I actually descent from the same Butler line, when the Anglo-Norman invasion occurs and leaves the Butlers as one of the occupation dynasties of the Ireland. My last male Butler is James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormand (died 1405), a descendant of King Edward I, who is my most recent common royal ancestors, to my knowledge. Many Americans (poss. 25%) have can authentically verify royal descent through proven gateway ancestors, although most Americans with early colonial ancestors are probably royally descended, they probably can't prove it and may remain unprovable. Americans with royal ancestors typically descend from King Edward III or an earlier monarch. This is because the migrations that occurred in the 1600s, unlike later migrations, tended to involve landed gentry, who were the descendant of young sons of nobles who often didn't inherit titles. The landed gentry are mostly centralized in VA and MA, but they landed in all the original colonies. The South Carolina Pierce Butler is unusual in that he's closely-related to nobility. His father was a baronet (lowest noble title) and descendent from the 9th Earl of Ormand. 

His actions:

Butler, Pierce (II) 1922 Confirmed to the SC for Harding, but faces some noticeable opposition.
Butler, Pierce (II) 1927 Sole dissenter in Buck v. Bell, which upheld eugenicist practice of compulsory sterilization
Butler, Pierce (II) 1928 Dissents in Olmstead v. US, which upheld federal wiretapping
Butler, Pierce (II) 1933 One of the Four Horsemen often opposing New Deal in cases
Butler, Pierce (II) 1939 Dies in office
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...