On October 9, a week after the 1954 Term began, Justice Robert H. Jackson died, and for his place the President nominated Judge John Marshall Harlan, on November 8, 1954. Judge Harlan had been appointed in March, 1953, to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Senate did not act on the Harlan nomination until March 16, 1955, when it was confirmed by a vote of 71–11, and the new Justice took the oath of office on March 28. Accordingly, the Court was handicapped during much of the Term by not having a full bench, and apparently the argument of important cases was delayed until the vacancy was filled. Former Justice Owen J. Roberts, who had taken his seat on appointment by President Hoover on June 2, 1930, and resigned July 31, 1945, died on May 17, 1955.
At the end of the Term, Chief Justice Warren announced that henceforth the Court will not hear oral arguments or hold open sessions on Friday, which will be reserved for the conferences of the Justices. Thus the ancient practice of holding the “recitation periods” on Saturday has, at least for the present, come to an end.