More details on Nixon and Kennedy’s final appointments.
Last night, I observed that judicial nominees seem to survive the presidency. Three of President Nixon’s judicial nominees were eventually commissioned by President Ford. And three of President Kennedy’s judicial nominees were eventually commissioned by President Johnson.
There is some fascinating backstory about these “midnight appointees.”
President Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. But on August 8, Nixon nominated Judge Donald D. Alsop to the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Alsop was confirmed on December 18. And President Ford signed his commission on December 20.
In 2014, the Star Tribune wrote a profile about Judge Alsop’s retirement. The piece offered some speculation why Alsop was one of the last nominations Nixon made.
He owes his career to Nixon’s last-minute efforts and a stroke of bipartisan help from a trio of Minnesota heavyweights: Democratic Senators Hubert H. Humphrey and Walter Mondale and Republican Rep. Ancher Nelsen.
“What we did back then with Alsop, you wouldn’t hardly see anymore,” Mondale said.
Alsop doesn’t know why Nixon turned to sign his nomination on his last full day as president — it “was the last thing on his plate,” Alsop said — and can only speculate about his good fortune. He said Time Magazine reported N
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