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The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Steven Frame/Shutterstock).

How New Jersey’s senators have voted on U.S Supreme Court nominations

Last N.J. senator to back a Supreme Court nomination made by a President of the other party was Frank Lautenberg in 1988

By David Wildstein, February 25 2022 1:39 pm

New Jersey’s two United States Senators, Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, may get a chance to vote on the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

This will be the seventh top court nomination for Menendez and the fourth for Booker.  In Booker’s case, it is potentially his first yes vote on a Supreme Court nomination since he won a Senate seat in 2013.

Both New Jersey senators opposed President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Menendez’s vote against the confirmation of Samuel Alito, a New Jersey resident, came exactly two weeks after he took his seat in the U.S. Senate in January 2006.   He supported the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Alito represented U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg’s tenth and last vote to confirm a Supreme Court Justice.  He voted no.  Lautenberg supported Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia — and opposed  John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, David Souter, Robert Bork and William Rehnquist.  

Jon Corzine voted on only one confirmation, in 2005 when he voted no on Roberts.   Robert Torricelli never had the chance to vote on a Supreme Court nomination; neither did two Republicans who served briefly as interim appointees: Nicholas Brady and Jeff Chiesa.

During his eighteen years in the Senate, Bill Bradley voted on nine high court confirmations.  He supported Sandra Day O’Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg and Breyer, and opposed Rehnquist, Bork, Souter and Thomas.

Harrison Williams voted on twelve Supreme Court nominations while in the Senate from 1959 to 1982: he supported Potter Stewart, Abe Fortas, Byron White, Arthur Goldberg, Thurgood Marshall, Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun, Lewis Powell and John Paul Stevens, and voted against Clement Haynsworth, Harrold Carswell, and Rehnquist.

During his 24 years in the Senate, Clifford Case voted yes on the confirmations of John Harlan, William Brennan, Charles Whitaker, Stewart, Fortas, White, Goldberg, Marshall, Burger, Blackmun, Powell and Stevens, and no on Haynsworth, Carswell, and Rehnquist.

The confirmation of Kennedy in 1988 was the last time a U.S. Senator from New Jersey backed the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice nominated by a President of the opposite political party.

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