Andrew Pickens Butler (November 18, 1796-May 25, 1857) was an American statesman and one of the authors of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
Butler, the son of statesman William Butler, was born in Edgefield, South Carolina. His early education was at a private academy, and he attended the South Carolina College, now the University of South Carolina. Butler was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1818 and practiced throughout the state. He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives at a young age, and in 1824 was elected to the South Carolina Senate, where he served two terms and part of a third before being named a state judge.
Butler remained a state judge until 1846, when he was appointed to the United States Senate as a States' Rights Democrat. He was re-elected (by the South Carolina legislature) in 1848 and again in 1854, and he served as a Senator for rest of his life. He was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during most of his tenure.
Andrew P. Butler's most significant legislative accomplishment may have been co-authorship with Stephen A. Douglas of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. The act was a direct violation of the Compromise of 1820, but was considered a victory for states' rights and slavery proponents.
Butler County, Kansas is named for him.
Butler's nephew, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks, achieved infamy when he bludgeoned Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of Congress in May of 1856 over comments previously made by Senator Sumner criticizing President Franklin Pierce's endorsement of his uncle's Kansas-Nebraska Act.