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Kavanaugh Column, News

A Judiciary Committee SCOTUS Scorecard

In case you’re wondering how the recent nominees for the Supreme Court have fared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, we offer our “SCOTUS Scorecard” that displays the current committee members’ votes from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg through the most recent nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

We offer a thumbnail analysis based on our count of the votes cast for nominees by a president of the opposition party. (Two members, California’s Kamala Harris and New Jersey’s Cory Booker, have not had the opportunity to vote on a Supreme Court nominee and are thus not counted.)  Of fourteen votes current Democratic members cast for Republican presidential nominees, only three were “yes” votes to confirm – a unanimous affirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts’ nomination (although we should note that Senators Durbin and Feinstein changed their votes to “no” on the Senate floor). Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch garnered no Democratic “yes” votes from current Judiciary members. On the other hand, of twelve votes current Republicans cast for nominees of Democratic administrations, fully half – six votes – were in the affirmative. The only current committee member who has voted in the affirmative across the board for nominees of both parties is Senator Lindsay Graham, the Republican from South Carolina, who votes only on what he regards as barebones qualifications regardless of his own views.

Reluctance on the part of Democratic senators to meet with Judge Kavanaugh is becoming apparent, with only three as of this date reportedly expressing interest – Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN). Perhaps not coincidentally, all three are in tough re-election races in 2018 in states that President Trump won handily. However, none of the Democratic members of the Judiciary have agreed to meet with Judge Kavanaugh at this writing. Insofar as the current Democratic Judiciary Committee members have voted “no” in a bloc recently (against Justice Alito and Justice Gorsuch), it may be too much to expect that they will overcome party pressures and sit down with the nominee ahead of the confirmation hearing.

After the Judiciary Committee’s vote, we will repost this chart with the committee’s votes filled in, as we head to (presumably) a full Senate vote.