If President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh reaches the U.S. Senate floor, it will be the fifth Supreme Court nominee for Bob Menendez and the second for Cory Booker.
Menendez voted against President Bush’s nomination of Samuel Alito in 2006. He supported President Obama’s picks – Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Elena Kagan in 2010. Menendez voted no on Trump’s first high court nomination, Neil Gorsuch in 2017.
Booker, who entered the Senate in 2013, voted against Gorsuch.
Since the Nixon administration, New Jersey Senators have supported ten U.S. Supreme Court appointments and opposed ten.
Frank Lautenberg, who served in the Senate from 1983 to 2001 and again from 2003 until his death in 2013, voted on eleven Supreme Court nominations: he opposed President Reagan’s pick of William Rehnquist for chief justice in 1986, as well as the nominations of Robert Bork, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito; Lautenberg voted to confirm Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan.
Jon Corzine was in the Senate for just one Supreme Court pick; he voted against John Roberts for chief justice in 2005. There were no Supreme Court nominations between 1997 and 2003, when Bob Torricelli was in the U.S. Senate.
During Bill Bradley’s eighteen years in the Senate, he voted yes on the nominations of Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer, and no on the nominations of 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.
Case, the last Republican Senator from New Jersey, is also the last Senator to break with a president of his own political party when he opposed three of President Nixon’s six Supreme Court nominations.