Yes votes to confirm Supreme Court justices

Republicans

Democrats

Independents

50 votes

for confirmation

60 votes to

break a filibuster

Scalia

98

Kennedy

97

Thomas

52

Ginsburg

96

Breyer

87

Roberts

78

Alito

58

Sotomayor

68

Kagan

63

Gorsuch

54

Republicans

Democrats

Independents

50 votes

for confirmation

60 votes to

break a filibuster

Scalia

98

Kennedy

97

Thomas

52

Ginsburg

96

Breyer

87

Roberts

78

Alito

58

Sotomayor

68

Kagan

63

Gorsuch

54

The Senate voted 54-45 to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch Friday after a contentious year-long battle to replace Antonin Scalia. President Barack Obama had nominated Merrick Garland for the vacancy, but Senate Republicans refused to schedule a hearing and his nomination languished before the Senate for a record 293 days. President Trump nominated Gorsuch on Jan. 31.

Senate Democrats tried to block Gorsuch’s nomination with a single-party filibuster, but Republicans changed the rule and upended Senate tradition to to require a simple 50-vote majority. This will make future Supreme Court nominees easier to confirm. Here’s how the vote happened and how it compares to votes for the eight sitting justices and Scalia:

gorsuch

Neil Gorsuch

Nominated by Donald Trump
Confirmed on April 7, 2017, after 66 days of consideration

Short of 60 debate-ending votes, Gorsuch was temporarily denied a confirmation vote.

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

55

senators voted yes

51 Republicans

4 D

45

voted no

1 R

42 Democrats

2 Independents

Republicans voted to end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, so the minority party will no longer be able to block a vote on their confirmation.

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

48

senators voted yes

46 Democrats

2 Independents

52

voted no

52 Republicans

Now, only 50 votes are needed to force a confirmation vote.

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

55

senators voted yes

52 Republicans

3 D

45

voted no

43 Democrats

2 Independents

His confirmation was finalized the next day.

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

54

senators voted yes

51 Republicans

3 D

45

voted no

43 Democrats

2 Independents

1

did not vote

From the Post archives: The U.S. Senate confirmed Neil M. Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, capping more than a year of bitter partisan bickering over the ideological balance of the nation’s highest court.

scalia

Antonin Scalia

Nominated by Ronald Reagan
Confirmed on Sept. 17, 1986, after 85 days of consideration

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

98

senators voted yes

51 Republicans

47 Democrats

2

did not vote

From the Post archives: The Senate last night voted 65 to 33 to confirm William H. Rehnquist as the 16th chief justice of the United States, ending a three-month campaign by some Democrats to stop the nomination. In a 98-to-0 vote, the Senate also confirmed Antonin Scalia, a federal appeals court judge here, as associate justice on the Supreme Court.

kennedy

Anthony M. Kennedy

Nominated by Ronald Reagan
Confirmed on Feb. 3, 1988, after 65 days of consideration

Reagan first nominated U.S. Appeals Court Judge Robert Bork for this seat, but the Senate rejected him with a 42-58 vote after a full hearing and debate.

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

97

senators voted yes

47 Republicans

50 Democrats

3

did not vote

From the Post archives: The Senate voted 97 to 0 yesterday to confirm appeals court Judge Anthony M. Kennedy to the Supreme Court, formally ending a bitter struggle over the Reagan administration's attempt to change the direction of the high court.

thomas

Clarence Thomas

Nominated by George H.W. Bush
Confirmed on Oct. 15, 1991, after 99 days of consideration

Despite contentious nomination hearings wherein he faced questions about former colleague Anita Hill’s claims that he sexually harassed her, Thomas did not face a filibuster.

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

52

senators voted yes

41 Republicans

11 Democrats

48

voted no

2 R

46 Democrats

From the Post archives: The Senate yesterday voted 52 to 48 to confirm Clarence Thomas as the 106th justice of the Supreme Court in a tense but low-key conclusion to its emotionally charged probe of sexual harassment charges against him.

ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Nominated by Bill Clinton
Confirmed on Aug. 3, 1993, after 50 days of consideration

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

96

senators voted yes

41 Republicans

55 Democrats

3

voted no

3 R

1

did not vote

From the Post archives: The Senate approved Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the 107th justice, and second woman, on the Supreme Court yesterday, completing one of the most harmonious court confirmations in recent history.

breyer

Stephen G. Breyer

Nominated by Bill Clinton
Confirmed on July 29, 1994, after 73 days of consideration

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

87

senators voted yes

33 Republicans

54 Democrats

9

voted no

9 R

4

did not vote

From the Post archives: 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.

roberts

John G. Roberts Jr.

Nominated by George W. Bush
Confirmed on Sept. 29, 2005, after 62 days of consideration

Roberts was first nominated to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and then to succeed Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

78

senators voted yes

55 Republicans

22 Democrats

1 Independent

22

voted no

22 Democrats

From the Post archives: John Glover Roberts Jr. was sworn in yesterday as the 17th chief justice of the United States, enabling President Bush to put his stamp on the Supreme Court for decades to come, even as he prepares to name a second nominee to the nine-member court.

alito

Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Nominated by George W. Bush
Confirmed on Jan. 31, 2006, after 82 days of consideration

Alito is the most recent Supreme Court justice who faced the possibility of a filibuster. He was Bush’s third nominee to replace O’Connor after Roberts was bumped up to the chief justice position and Harriet Miers’s nomination was withdrawn. The members who voted against ending debate included current Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Richard J. Durbin, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Here’s the cloture vote to move along his nomination:

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

72

senators voted yes

53 Republicans

19 Democrats

25

voted no

24 Democrats

1 Independent

3

did not vote

The next day, Alito was confirmed with a second vote:

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

58

senators voted yes

54 Republicans

4 D

42

voted no

1 R

40 Democrats

1 Independent

From the Post archives: Samuel A. Alito Jr. was sworn in as the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice yesterday, marking a major victory for conservatives in their decades-old drive to move the court rightward, and alarming liberals who fear that long-standing rights might be in jeopardy.

sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor

Nominated by Barack Obama
Confirmed on Aug. 6, 2009, after 66 days of consideration

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

68

senators voted yes

9 R

57 Democrats

2 Independents

31

voted no

31 Republicans

1

did not vote

From the Post archives: The Senate, in a vote laden with history and partisanship, confirmed Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday as the 111th justice and the first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

kagan

Elena Kagan

Nominated by Barack Obama
Confirmed on Aug. 5, 2010, after 87 days of consideration

50 votes for confirmation

60 votes to break a filibuster

63

senators voted yes

5 R

56 Democrats

2 Independents

37

voted no

36 Republicans

1 D

From the Post archives: The Senate confirmed U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan on Thursday as the 112th justice to the Supreme Court, making her the fourth woman to sit on the court.

Source: U.S. Senate and Post archives.

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