I’m seeing more references by conservative pundits that Democrats simply want nothing to do with appointing a conservative to the Supreme Court and will resort to any tactic to avoid doing so. The argument is that Democrats will only accept a moderate or liberal and will filibuster, if necessary, any nomination that doesn’t fit their rigid definition of an “acceptable” nominee.
This is, once again, a completely erroneous and misleading perspective. The facts simply do not support such a perspective. Simply looking at recent appointments bears this out. Going back to William Rehnquist in 1971, five Republican Presidents have successfully nominated seven Supreme Court nominees. Of those seven nominees at least four were perceived as being conservative and all were confirmed in Democrat-led Senates.
Rehnquist was confirmed in 1971 68-26. Sandra Day O’Conner was confirmed in 1981 99-0. Antonin Scalia was confirmed in 1986 98-0 and controversial nominee Clarence Thomas was confirmed in 1991 with a vote of 52-48.
To suggest that Democrats simply cannot accept conservative nominees from a Republican President is ridiculous.