“When it came to one of the most sweeping decisions a president can make, a life-long appointment to our highest court, the Biden administration let the radicals take the lead,” McConnell had said before, with one last argument against Judge Jackson. whose nomination he portrayed as an example of extremists taking control of the Democratic Party. “The far left got the reckless inflationary spending they wanted. The far left has been given the insecure border they wanted. And today, the far left will get the Supreme Court justice they wanted.”
Three Republicans — Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah — crossed party lines to vote to confirm Judge Jackson, adding a bit of ambiguity to an otherwise bitterly polarized trial.
It was a sign of the deeply divided times that winning three Republicans was considered a victory. When Judge Breyer — nominated by President Bill Clinton — was confirmed in 1994, it was by a vote of 87 to 9, in line with prevailing sentiment at the time that presidents were entitled to their elected justice, provided the candidate was qualified and temperamental was appropriate for the job.
But in recent years, the Supreme Court’s ratification battles have become a political blood sport, with belligerent televised hearings in which opposing senators try to tarnish the reputation of the president’s candidate while making partisan appeals to their key supporters.
Confirmations have fallen almost entirely along partisan lines. Democrats were uniformly opposed to Judge Amy Comey Barrett, President Donald J. Trump’s third nominee in court, who was rushed just before the 2020 election, with only one of them voting to confirm his second, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. , whose explosive hearings were included. an allegation of sexual abuse.
In 2017, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, Mr Trump’s first nominee, received three Democratic votes — the same level of bipartisanship as Judge Jackson — but his nomination came after Republicans blocked President Barack Obama from running for a seat a year earlier. of the Supreme Court, refusing to hear his candidate, Merrick B. Garland, during an election year.