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On July 1, 2005, Sandra Day O'Connor announced her plan to retire as an Associate Justice of the U. Supreme Court, effective as of the date that her replacement was confirmed by the United States Senate.
Speaking to Miers's lack of credentials, the White House quickly advanced the defense that 41 of the 110 Supreme Court Justices appointed to date had never served as a judge prior to their nomination.
Some examples during the 20th century include Louis Brandeis (appointed 1916), Felix Frankfurter (1939), William O.
Douglas (1939), Robert Jackson (1941), Earl Warren (1953), Abe Fortas (1965), Lewis Powell (1972), and William Rehnquist (1972).
The religious beliefs of nominees on abortion and other controversial social issues have been a significant part of confirmation hearings for nominees thought to have traditional religious beliefs.
Some civil rights activists (notably the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, Notre Dame law professor Charles Rice in the National Review, the civil rights group the Center for Jewish Values and the conservative Catholic group Fidelis) consider such interrogation by senators to be a violation of the constitutional prohibition of any religious tests for federal office.