What You Need to Know |President Trump is Following Historical Precedent To Fill Supreme Court Vacancy
The President’s action to fill the Supreme Court vacancy during an election year follows historical precedent going back more than 200 years.
- In 15 instances in history, a Supreme Court vacancy has arisen during an election year and the President has put forward a nominee during that same year.
- When the Senate has been controlled by the same party as the President, nine nominations have been made and eight justices have been successfully confirmed under those circumstances.
- President Johnson’s decision to withdraw Abe Fortas’ nomination to be elevated to serve as Chief Justice was scuttled due to bipartisan opposition and serious ethical issues – and with it Homer Thornberry’s nomination to replace him – stands as the lone failed confirmation.
- By contrast, the majority of nominations have failed under divided government – when voters have chosen an opposite party Senate to check and balance the President.
- In the six examples of this scenario, all but two nominations failed.
- Merrick Garland’s nomination process was consistent with this precedent.
- The last time a justice was nominated and confirmed to a vacancy opening in an election year by a Senate of a different party than the President was 1888.
- In the majority of cases in which Supreme Court justices have retired or passed away during an election year, the nominees to replace them were sent to the Senate before the election.
President Trump is fulfilling his obligation to the American people and his Constitutional oath by putting forward a Supreme Court nominee.
- Nominations to the Supreme Court have been at the core of President Trump’s pact with the American people from the beginning.
- Then-Candidate Trump released a list of distinguished candidates from which he would choose a nominee for Justice Scalia’s vacant seat, as well as future vacancies, and has since added additional names to that list.
- The President’s radical transparency and focus on the Supreme Court were at the center of voters’ decision to elect him to the presidency.
- A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 65 percent of Americans considered the Supreme Court “very important” to their vote in 2016.
- According to the Washington Post, 26 percent of all Trump voters suggested the most important reason they chose to vote for the President was the Supreme Court.
- The Republican Senate majority, expanded in 2018, reflects the American peoples’ approval of the judges chosen by President Trump and confirmed by the Republican Senate.
- The American people elected President Trump to fill Supreme Court seats with qualified nominees and he will not let them down now