Anti-union ruling derails court nomination

On this day in 1930: By a 41-39 vote, the U.S. Senate rejects Supreme Court nominee John J. Parker. Born in Union County and living in Charlotte, Parker would have been the first North Carolinian on the court in 120 years.

Parker, a Republican who had run unsuccessfully for governor, was serving on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when nominated by President Herbert Hoover. Senate debate centered on a 1920s case in which the judge had ruled with management about a “yellow dog” contract. The Supreme Court later upheld Parker’s decision, but the anti-union label proves fatal to his nomination.

Parker will remain on the bench and in 1945 sits as an alternate judge at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. He dies in 1958, at age 72, after suffering a heart attack shortly after dining at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel. His dinner companion: Clement Haynsworth, the Greenville, S.C., judge whose own Supreme Court nomination the Senate would reject in 1969.


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