Establish Justice

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Melville W. Fuller was the first Chief Justice to lobby Congress. He successfully advocated for
the adoption of the Circuit Courts of Appeals Act of 1891. It established appellate courts,
which reduced the Supreme Court’s backlog and allowed it to decide cases in a more timely
manner. In 1893, President Grover Cleveland offered to appoint Fuller to be Secretary of State.
He declined, contending that accepting a political appointment would harm the Supreme
Court’s reputation for impartiality.