Friday, July 24, 2009

Tracking Supreme Court Nomination Votes in the U.S. Senate, 1789-Present

The U.S. Senate has a site which tracks all votes on Supreme Court nominations from 1789 to the present day. The site contains a bevy of information and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic.

Neither of George W. Bush's nominees coasted to the bench and faced similar criticisms from the Democrats:

Alito's vote total: 58-42
Roberts' vote total: 78-22

Bill Clinton's nominees faced little opposition:

Breyer's vote total: 87-9
Ginsberg's vote total: 96-3

George H.W. Bush had a mixed record. Souter was a slam dunk; Thomas squeaked by:

Thomas' vote totals: 52-48
Souter's vote totals: 90-9

Reagan was 4-1 as Bork went down to defeat, the last time a nominee failed in a U.S. Senate vote:

Kennedy's vote totals: 97-0
Bork's vote totals: 42-58
Scalia's vote totals: 98-0
O'Connor's vote totals: 99-0
Rehnquist's vote totals for elevation to chief justice: 65-33

I really do think the political environment has changed. Scalia and Ginsberg combine for a 194-3 vote? Can you imagine either justice sailing though in the 21st century? Ideology is now used as a litmus test. It shouldn't be.


msteven said...

Thanks for the info. I was surprised that Roberts was disapproved by 22. He seemed to be pretty moderate. I checked via your source because I recall some far right-wing groups opposed him after it was found out that he had done pro-bono work for a gay rights group (gasp!). But all 22 were Democrats including the current big players – Obama, Biden & Clinton. Unfortunately, I think the days of unanimous consent or even 90+ are over – unless one party gets that type of seat advantage – which is their agenda. I agree that right wing radio hosts use over-the-top and shrill rhetoric but to me no more than Keith Olbermann or Pre-Senator Al Franken do. The sad truth is there is now no such thing as a non-partisan vote. And the other problem is that divisive issues and votes are news and news is entertainment. Are you a third party proponent?

DC said...

msteven--no, I'm not a 3rd party guy. The American system is really built for two strong parties. What I want to see are two strong parties that are willing to negotiate, bargain, and compromise, not politically posture on everything.

White Photo Gallery Feed

White Blog Feed

White House Flickr Photostream

Site Meter


Wikio - Top Blogs - Politics