At least 14 Supreme Court justices have been confirmed during election years


#1

Vox:

At least 14 Supreme Court justices have been confirmed during election years

One of the biggest political arguments of 2016 will be whether the Senate should confirm President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court — or delay until 2017 so that the next president can fill the seat. Already, partisans on both sides are readying their arguments about why it would — or wouldn’t — be unprecedented for the Senate to run out the clock on Obama’s presidency.A key part of the conservative argument will be that it’s unprecedented for the president to nominate a candidate during an election year. “It’s been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Saturday.
Igor Volsky, a staffer at the liberal Center for American Progress, responded with a tweet listing justices who have been confirmed in election years:

[LIST=1]
*]Oliver Ellsworth, 1796
*]Samuel Chase, 1796
*]William Johnson, 1804
*]Philip Barbour, 1836
*]Roger Taney, 1836
*]Melville Fuller, 1888
*]Lucius Lamar, 1888
*]George Shiras, 1892
*]Mahlon Pitney, 1912
*]John Clarke, 1916
*]Louis Brandeis, 1916
*]Benjamin Cardozo, 1932
*]Frank Murphy, 1940
*]Anthony Kennedy, 1988
[/LIST]
Volsky also listed Salmon Chase, Ward Hunt, and William Woods, but their nominations all occurred in December — after the presidential election had already happened — so it’s not fair to count them as election-year choices.
Liberals, of course, will argue that this shows it would be unprecedented for Senate Republicans to refuse to confirm Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court. But notably, 13 out of those 14 nominations occurred prior to World War II. That’s significant because American politics — particularly the politics of the Supreme Court — has changed a lot in recent decades. For most of the 20th century, the major parties were not as ideologically polarized as they are today, and Supreme Court nominations rarely led to protracted political fights. The fact that election-year nominations were common during this period doesn’t seem to say all that much about the situation today.


#2

Liberals, of course, will argue that this shows it would be unprecedented for Senate Republicans to refuse to confirm Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court. But notably, 13 out of those 14 nominations occurred prior to World War II. That’s significant because American politics — particularly the politics of the Supreme Court — has changed a lot in recent decades. For most of the 20th century, the major parties were not as ideologically polarized as they are today,…

All the more reason to delay until after the election. Thanks for providing this information. Republicans should hold strong and commit to wait until after the election.


#3

In regards to Kennedy, he was actually nominated in 1987, the year PRIOR to the election.

His nomination process (which took 7 months) ended up going into 1988


#4

Republicans and conservatives sure are stretching it and milking this for all it’s worth. Which isn’t much.

Rubio said, “It has been over 80 years since a lame-duck president appointed a Supreme Court justice.”

First of all, Rubio should know as a candidate running for President that Presidents don’t appoint justices. They are nominated and then confirmed.

But lets take a look at the fact check.

The most recent contradiction of this claim would be Reagan’s nomination of Kennedy. Kennedy was nominated in November 1987 and confirmed during Reagan’s final year of office in February 1988.

Reagan’s timeline doesn’t exactly line up with what Obama faces; Reagan had more time between his nomination and the end of his presidency. But it’s hard for us to see how Obama can be considered a lame duck but not Reagan. Both were second-term presidents who knew they would not serve again but did not yet know who their successor would be.

**We rate this claim Mostly False.
**

politifact.com/florida/statements/2016/feb/14/marco-rubio/rubio-exaggerates-sayig-its-been-80-years-lame-duc/

And here is another interesting read.

In the wake of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, questions have arisen about whether there is a standard practice of not nominating and confirming Supreme Court Justices during a presidential election year. The historical record does not reveal any instances since at least 1900 of the president failing to nominate and/or the Senate failing to confirm a nominee in a presidential election year because of the impending election. In that period, there were several nominations and confirmations of Justices during presidential election years.

scotusblog.com/2016/02/supreme-court-vacancies-in-presidential-election-years/

And then this.

The situation rarely comes up. A seat has opened on the Supreme Court during an election year only once every few decades. (Hardly grounds of a precedence)

Apparently, the only recent case comparable to the vacancy created by Scalia’s death arose in 1968 when Chief Justice Earl Warren told President Lyndon Johnson he wished to retire during that election year. Johnson nominated Justice Abe Fortas for a promotion to fill Warren’s seat, but Fortas’s nomination met with a filibuster in the Senate.

Some senators might well have considered the pending election in voting against Fortas. Yet the nomination had other problems, too. Senators questioned whether Fortas’s personal friendship with Johnson created a conflict of interest. He had also received payment for delivering a series of lectures at a university while an associate justice, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service. Other lawmakers were generally frustrated with the direction of the liberal Warren court.

Warren (still alive) remained on the court. (Not exactly comparable to the current situation since it involved a wish to retire and not a death)

washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/13/what-happens-when-a-supreme-court-justice-dies-in-an-election-year-nobody-really-knows/


#5

Say what you will, but this might be another time that “it ain’t gonna happen.”


#6

Right. If we’re going to draw comparisons, it would be more accurate to count the number of Supreme Court Justices who were both nominated and confirmed in an election year (as that is the current scenario unfolding before us). Comparing this situation to Kennedy’s is a bit disingenuous seeing as how he filled a vacancy that occurred 7 1/2 months earlier than this one relative to election day.

Not that I think the placement of election day has much to do with the nominations to the Supreme Court. The process will still get underway. But seeing as how it is this close to election day, I think the Republicans can (and will try) to wait it out. With Kennedy, the process took 7 months. Just an extra 2 months and we’re past election day. I think that, in the current political climate, they can drag it out that long. And once they get there, well then it will be a lot easier to hold off another 2 months until the new President takes office.

The timing is rather awkward, I think. If this happened a few months earlier, there’s no way it could be put off that long. If this happened a few months later, no one would doubt the ability to postpone the appointment. Right now, I’m not sure how it will play out. I’m sure the Republicans will try to stall just as I’m sure the Democrats will try to make them look bad for doing so. If the roles were reversed, the exact same thing would be happening, just with each party following the script that the other party is using right now.


#7

Election day is 9 months away (long enough to make a baby :slight_smile: ), Inaugration Day is about a year away. Is everything supposed to stop between now and then?

What if we get attacked? Is Obama supposed to say, oh well, wait until the next presidents term? Is the Congress supposed to wait until the next President to authorize retaliation?

What if the President dies? Do we wait until the new President is elected to swear in Biden? Do we wait that long to swear in a new VP?


#8

So?


#9

Indeed. There is nothing revolutionary about new appointments to the Supreme Court in an election year. The President is fully within his constitutional rights to submit a candidate to the Senate, and the Senate is within its right to ultimately accept or reject the pick.

Conservatives in the US should be mindful that if the Senate does scuttle the President’s pick, Obama wins any ways, as the absence of Scalia tips the Supreme Court leftward in and of itself.


#10

In southern states Republican administrations have gerrymandered districts allowing candidates to choose their voters instead of having voters choose their representatives. They have assailed voting rights by selectively closing precincts at college campuses and other places where they believe doing so will result in a voting advantage; reducing voting times and days; stopping the registration to vote of high school students in civics classes; precluding precincts from remaining open when voters are still in line to vote; and adding additional documentation for voter registration.

Now the Republican held Senate has declared the intention to nullify the votes of every citizen who cast a vote to re-elect President Obama to a second term. How stunningly disrespectful of the democratic process.


#11

Incase you missed it for accuracy.

“The historical record does not reveal any instances since at least 1900 of the president failing to nominate and/or the Senate failing to confirm a nominee in a presidential election year because of the impending election. In that period, there were several nominations and confirmations of Justices during presidential election years.”

“In two instances in the twentieth century, presidents were not able to nominate and confirm a successor during an election year. But neither reflects a practice of leaving a seat open on the Supreme Court until after the election.”

And neither of those 2 involved a death. And in the 1964 case, there were ethical questions about the nominee and Warren remained on the bench instead of leaving a vacancy.

scotusblog.com/2016/02/supreme-court-vacancies-in-presidential-election-years/


#12

:thumbsup:


#13

By gerrymandering do you mean court imposed majority minority districts? Or are tho s OK?


#14

:sad_yes: Excellent post though. :clapping:


#15

There is zero doubt that if the situation was reversed, the Democrats would do the same thing. The difference is, they wouldn’t declare it to the public. The Republicans made the foolish mistake of declaring their intention, rather than getting what they want through the process.

Take note that it did not bother the Democrats one bit to pass a massive social program (Obamacare) without so much as one single Republican vote. That a program that will continue to impact the USA for the rest of its history, and it had no vote from the right.


#16

Exactly! :thumbsup:


#17

I can’t figure out the relationship between Obamacare and a President fulfilling a constitutional obligation to put forward a candidate to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.

Congress approved Obamacare, period. You may dislike the result, but Congress did nothing constitutionally untoward. And really, even Obamacare doesn’t go far enough. How is it that the United States is one of the only remaining industrialized nations (and indeed the wealthiest industrialized nation) not to have some sort of universal system?


#18

Another thing which could be worse. If Hillary is elected, she’s already said that she will only nominate pro abortion judges! And in that case, Congress could be in the hands of the Democrats. Either she or Bernie Sanders (if he’s the nominee) could nominate Obama! Since we’re in moral decay, God may just give us what we deserve.Remember there are at least two other Catholic Supreme Justices, Supreme Court Justice Thomas who voted for SS marriage and Kennedy who flip flops both way. We’d better be praying for our country now!


#19

And the Senate is doing nothing unconstitutional by delaying confirming any of his apts.


#20

:eek: Wow, you are starting to scare me now!


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