List of United States political appointments across party lines
United States presidents typically fill their Cabinets and other appointive positions with people from their own political party. The first Cabinet formed by the first President, George Washington, included some of Washington's political opponents, but later presidents adopted the practice of filling their Cabinets with members of the President's party.
Appointments across party lines are uncommon. Presidents may appoint members of a different party to high-level positions in order to reduce partisanship or improve cooperation between the political parties.
This is a list of people appointed to high-level positions in the United States federal government by a President whose political party affiliation was different from that of the appointee. The list includes executive branch appointees and independent agency appointees. Independent or nonpartisan appointees, nominally apolitical appointments (such as Article III judges and military officers), and members of explicitly bipartisan commissions are not included.
List of appointees
Ɨ Person was an appointee of the previous administration and reappointed by the President.
Other notable appointments that crossed party lines
- President Benjamin Harrison, a Republican, appointed Howell Edmunds Jackson, a Democrat, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- President William Howard Taft, a Republican, appointed Edward Douglass White, a Democrat, as Chief Justice of the United States.
- President Warren G. Harding, a Republican, appointed Pierce Butler, a Democrat, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- President Herbert Hoover, a Republican, appointed Benjamin N. Cardozo, a prominent Democrat, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, appointed Harlan F. Stone, a Republican, as Chief Justice of the United States.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, appointed William J. Brennan, Jr., a Democrat, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- President Richard Nixon, a Republican, appointed Walter Minnick as a staff assistant and deputy assistant director for the Office of Management and Budget before he was elected to Congress as a Democrat.
- President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, nominated Frank Minis Johnson, a Republican, as an Fifth Circuit appellate court judge.
- President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, nominated Patrick Lucey, a Democrat, as United States Ambassador to Mexico; Lucey was later an independent vice-presidential candidate during the 1980 presidential election against Jimmy Carter.
- President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, appointed Jim Webb, who at the time was a Republican, as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs and as Secretary of the Navy before he was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat.
- President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, nominated Governor of Massachusetts William Weld, a Republican, as United States Ambassador to Mexico.
- President George W. Bush, a Republican, appointed Philip Ray Martinez, a Democrat, as a U.S. federal judge on the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.
- President Barack Obama, a Democrat, nominated U.S. Senator Judd Gregg, a Republican, as United States Secretary of Commerce.
- Mr. Wilson's Cabinet; Will Be Sagacious Men, But Not Political Experts, The New York Times, November 7, 1912
- William S. Cohen, Across Party Lines, Washington Post, December 17, 2000
- 1864 Vice Presidential Running Mate, 16th Vice President Of The United States of America, Successor and 17th President of the United States of America (1865) With the exception of Gerald Ford, vice presidents are elected and not appointed. Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson ran as members of the National Union Party and not as a Republican and a Democrat.
- Hugh Robert Wilson (1885-1946): Foreign Service officer
- Wilson, Hugh R., Pa-roots.org
- SIX FOR THE KENNEDY CABINET, Time, December 26, 1960.
- Hodgson, Godfrey. Obituary: McGeorge Bundy. independent.co.uk, September 18, 1996.
- McGeorge Bundy. jfklibrary.org
- Appointee was a Democrat at the beginning of this tenure.
- Dana Priest, An 'Outsider' Set to Take Over Pentagon, Washington Post, Wednesday, January 22, 1997; Page A21. "Although other presidents have crossed party lines to fill the top defense post, Cohen ... would be the first Republican politician to serve a Democratic president in the position."
- Tapper, Jake. Losing his religion? Negotiating a bill through Congress, Bush's faith czar expresses frustration with his own White House. Salon.com, June 5, 2001.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress document "MILLER, Zell Bryan". "member, American Battle Monuments Commission, 2005-"
- Coll, Steve. The General's Dilemma: David Petraeus the pressures of politics, and the road out of Iraq. Newyorker.com, September 8, 2008.