Breyer Wins Senate Confirmation to Top Court, 87 to 9

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By Helen Dewar
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 30, 1994

The Senate yesterday overwhelmingly approved Stephen G. Breyer as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, giving President Clinton his second easy confirmation of a judicial centrist to the high court.

Judge Breyer was confirmed, 87 to 9, despite a campaign against him by Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), who charged that Breyer's investment in a troubled Lloyd's of London syndicate suggested "extraordinarily bad judgment" and threatened financial entanglements that could compromise his work on the court.

All Democrats and a vast majority of Republicans voted for Breyer, with most of the opposition coming from GOP conservatives who joined the more moderate Lugar in questioning Breyer's investments but appeared especially concerned about the nominee's views on property rights and abortion.

Breyer, 55, a former Senate aide who is now chief judge of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, replaces retiring Justice Harry A. Blackmun and becomes the nation's 108th justice.

"The responsibility of that position is awesome, rather humbling," he said at a celebratory White House ceremony with Clinton. "I'll do my best."

Breyer's comfortable margin of victory fell short of the 96 to 3 vote by which the Senate approved Ruth Bader Ginsburg last August as Clinton's first high court nominee.


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