President Joe Biden (D) said that he will name his nominee to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the United States Supreme Court by the end of February. Whoever the nominee is, they are set to be the first to require confirmation from a United States Senate divided 50-50.
Since 1967, when the U.S. Senate held its first roll call confirmation after Hawaii became the 50th state, the Senate has confirmed 20 individuals to the Supreme Court. Of those, Sandra Day O’Connor received the most yes votes (99), and Brett Kavanaugh received the fewest (50). Amy Coney Barrett is the only justice in that time that was confirmed with yes votes from senators belonging to a single party.
The chart below shows the total number of yes votes each Supreme Court justice received in the U.S. Senate since 1967, divided by senators’ party. Blue represents Democratic votes, red represents Republican votes, and grey represents independent or third party votes.
- Sandra Day O’Connor (nom. Ronald Reagan (R), 1981) received the most votes (99).
- Brett Kavanaugh (nom. Donald Trump (R), 2018) received the fewest votes (50).
- John Paul Stevens (nom. Gerald Ford (R), 1975) received the most votes Democratic votes (59).
- Amy Coney Barrett (nom. Donald Trump (R), 2020) received the fewest Democratic votes (0).
- John Roberts (nom. George W. Bush (R), 2005) received the most Republican votes (55).
- Elena Kagan (nom. Barack Obama (D), 2010) received the fewest Republican votes (5).
Among those nominated by Democratic presidents…
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg (nom. Bill Clinton, 1993) received the most yes votes (96).
- Kagan received the fewest yes votes (63).
- Ginsburg received the most Republican votes (41).
- Kagan (nom. Obama, 2010) received the fewest Republican votes (5).
- Sonia Sotomayor (nom. Obama, 2009) received the most Democratic votes (57).
- Thurgood Marshall (nom. Johnson, 1967) received the fewest Democratic votes (37).
Among those nominated by Republican presidents…
- O’Connor received the most yes votes (99).
- Kavanaugh received the fewest yes votes (50).
- Stevens received the most number of Democratic votes (59).
- Barrett received the fewest number ofDemocratic votes(0).
- Roberts received the most number of Republican votes (55).
- Warren Burger (nom. Richard Nixon, 1969) received the fewest Republican votes (36).
- Process to fill vacated seat of Justice Stephen Breyer
- Resignation of Stephen Breyer from the U.S. Supreme Court