The Size Of The Supreme Court Fluctuates

1863

In 1863 the new Republican majorities in Congress expand the Supreme Court to ten, allowing President Abraham Lincoln to make an appointment to the Court. After Lincoln dies, however, Congress strongly disagrees with his successor, Andrew Johnson, over Reconstruction policies. To prevent Johnson from appointing any justices, Congress reduces the number of justices to eight in 1867. After Johnson’s term ends in 1869, Congress returns the Supreme Court to nine justices.