Here's how long it's taken to confirm past Supreme Court justices

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has opened up a political battle over the future of the Supreme Court and who will fill her now-vacant seat as Election Day looms.

After the court announced Ginsburg’s passing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump’s nominee “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.” And Trump on Saturday said that Republicans have an “obligation” to fill the vacancy on the high court “without delay.”
The vacancy on the bench creates what many conservatives view as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move the makeup of the court from its current split of five conservative justices and four liberal justices to a more dominant 6-3 majority.
But Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, have called on Republicans to uphold the precedent set in 2016 when they refused to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, even though Obama had nominated Merrick Garland for the seat in March of that year — months before the presidential election.
    Senate Republicans only need a simple majority of 51 votes to confirm a new justice once one is formally nominated and there are 53 GOP senators currently, meaning McConnell can only afford to lose three Republicans. Conservatives are pushing the Senate leader behind the scenes to consider moving to fill the seat before November 3, potentially leaving the conference divided over what timeline is best.
    Here’s a look at how long it has taken to confirm past Supreme Court justices:
    Brett Kavanaugh (L) is sworn-in as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy (R) before wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh (2nd-R), daughters Margaret (2nd-L) and Elizabeth (C), and US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC.

    Brett Kavanaugh (89 days)

    President announces nomination: July 9, 2018
    Senate receives nomination: July 10, 2018
    Confirmed: October 6, 2018
    Neil Gorsuch testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his nomination hearing to be an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court on March 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.

    Neil Gorsuch (66 days)

    President announces nomination: January 31, 2017
    Senate receives nomination: February 1, 2017
    Confirmed: April 7, 2017
    Elena Kagan attends a White House ceremony marking her confirmation to the Supreme Court in August 2010.

    Elena Kagan (87 days)

    President announces nomination: May 10, 2010
    Senate receives nomination: May 10, 2010
    Confirmed: August 5, 2010
    U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor smiles during a group portrait session for the new full court at the Supreme Court on Nov. 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.

    Sonia Sotomayor (72 days)

    President announces nomination: May 26, 2009
    Senate receives nomination: June 1, 2009
    Confirmed: August 6, 2009
    Associate Justice Samuel Alito poses for the official group photo at the US Supreme Court on November 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.

    Samuel Alito (92 days)

    President announces nomination: October 31, 2005
    Senate receives nomination: November 10, 2005
    Confirmed: January 31, 2006
    Jane Roberts (C) holds a Bible as John Roberts (L) raises his right hand as he is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House Sept. 29, 2005, in Washington DC.

    John Roberts (72 days)

    President announces nomination: July 19, 2005
    Senate receives nomination: July 29, 2005
    Confirmed: September 29, 2005
    (Note: Roberts was nominated twice by Bush but in immediate succession. The first was to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, but upon the death of William Rehnquist, his initial nomination was withdrawn and resubmitted as a nomination for Chief Justice. There are 23 days between his second nomination on September 6 and his confirmation.)
    U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer is seen during a group portrait session for the new full court at the Supreme Court on Nov. 30, 2018, in Washington, DC.

    Stephen Breyer (77 days)

    President announces nomination: May 13, 1994
    Senate receives nomination: May 17, 1994
    Confirmed: July 29, 1994
    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seen on February 14, 2020 in Washington, DC.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg (50 days)

    President announces nomination: June 14, 1993
    Senate receives nomination: June 22, 1993
    Confirmed: August 3, 1993
    US Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas raises his right hand as he is sworn in on Sept. 10, 1991, during confirmation hearings before the US Senate Judiciary Committee, in Washington, DC.

    Clarence Thomas (106 days)

    President announces nomination: July 1, 1991
      Senate receives nomination: July 8, 1991
      Confirmed: October 15, 1991

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