Woodward’s appointment to the Supreme Court was opposed by Democrats, who objected to his nativist stance.
Woodward practiced law in Pennsylvania, becoming a delegate to the state’s constitutional convention and rising to a judgeship. President James K. Polk appointed him to the Supreme Court in September, 1845, to replace Henry Baldwin. Woodward’s nativist politics, however, were in opposition to many Senate Democrats, who had made a campaign promise to reject nativism. Additionally, Woodward had run for Senate and lost to Simon Cameron, who led five other Democrats to vote with the Whigs against Woodward in January, 1846. Cameron had more than personal motives: Pennsylvania was home to a significant immigrant population. Woodward later served as associate justice and chief justice of the Pennsylvania supreme court and won an election to the U.S. Congress.
Nominations to the Court