King, Edward Summary

  • Last updated on November 11, 2022

King was a prominent Pennsylvania jurist who was twice nominated for a seat on the Supreme Court by President John Tyler. The Senate declined both nominations because of Tyler’s failure to gain adequate support from the Democrats and the Whigs.

Edward King

(Library of Congress)

Before being nominated to the Supreme Court by President John Tyler, King developed a successful legal and judicial career in Philadelphia. In 1824 he was named clerk of the Philadelphia orphans’ court and, the next year, advanced to the position of president judge of the Philadelphia court of common pleas. In that capacity, King developed a reputation as a competent jurist, became identified with equity jurisdiction, and advocated the reform of the expanding criminal code of the Commonwealth. In June, 1844, King was nominated by Tyler to fill a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. The leadership of the Senate postponed a decision, effectively terminating the nomination. In December, 1844, Tyler resubmitted King’s nomination; again, the Senate tabled the nomination. Despite rejoinders for action, Tyler, who recognized that the Senate would prevail, withdrew the King nomination in February, 1845. At that time Tyler nominated John M. Read, also of Pennsylvania; that nomination also failed. King returned to his judicial life in Philadelphia and served as president of the Philadelphia court of common pleas until 1852.Tyler, John;nominations to the Court

Nominations to the Court

Political party system

Read, John M.

Tyler, John

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