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Wheeler Hazard Peckham
Wheeler Hazard Peckham (January 1, 1833 - ?) was a lawyer from New York and a failed nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States. His father, Rufus Wheeler Peckham, was also a lawyer, and a New York Court of Appeals judge and congressman. His brother, also named Rufus Wheeler Peckham, was also a New York lawyer, state court judge, and Supreme Court Justice.
Wheeler Hazard Peckham was born in Albany, New York, on New Year's Day in 1833. He was educated at Albany Academy, and at his father's alma mater, Union College, which he left early due to poor health. After starting a private legal practice in New York City, Peckham was appointed district attorney of New York in 1884, but resigned in the same year.
In 1894, Peckham was nominated to replace Samuel Blatchford on the U.S. Supreme Court by President Grover Cleveland. However, this nomination was caught in the middle of a political tug-of-war between Cleveland and New York Senator David Hill, and Wheeler became the second nominee of Cleveland's that Hill managed to block, by a Senate vote of 32-41; Senator Edward Douglass White was instead confirmed to the Court. By the time another seat on the Court was vacant after the death of Howell E. Jackson in 1895, Hill was weakened politically and Cleveland turned to Wheeler's brother, Rufus, who was confirmed within six days.
Peckham was active in New York City politics and society, presiding over social events and advocating for reform of "municipal degradation":
- "The issue is simply one of men. You cannot remedy matters by law nor by system, you have got to remedy it by the simple expedient of turning out the maladministrators and putting in their places men who are honest and capable. We must organize a power that will overcome present conditions and put in office men who are capable and aggressively so. Vice, that has awakened such an outburst of public opinion, is but one of the things that must go."
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