With only 43 days until this year’s presidential election, many Democrats and some Republicans have said President Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate cannot confirm a new Supreme Court justice by Nov. 3. Yet history shows it is possible and even common for justices to be confirmed within 45 days of their formal nomination, including in the court’s modern era.
Of the 163 nominations in U.S. history to the highest court in the nation, more than half were formally nominated and confirmed within 45 days. Some of the justices were even nominated and confirmed on the same day.
While many Democrats have expressed disdain for the anticipated nominee and insisted it would be undemocratic for elected senators to perform their constitutional duties in a timely manner, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also noted on Sunday that in every one of the 29 times there has been a Supreme Court vacancy in a presidential election year, the president has nominated a person to fill the vacancy.
“There’s a big difference in the Senate, with whether the Senate is of the same party of the president or a different party than the president,” Cruz explained. “If the parties are the same, the Senate confirms the nominee.”
Trump recently announced that he will name a replacement for the vacancy created by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on either Friday or Saturday of this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also promised a vote from the Senate, saying the GOP wants to “support [Trump’s] agenda…particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary.”
“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” he stated.
Here’s a comprehensive list of every Supreme Court justice who has been formally nominated and confirmed within 45 days. The list includes Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, John Paul Stevens, Warren Burger, William Taft, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., John Quincy Adams, and John Marshall.