Sep. 17, 1986: Justice Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court Confirmation

On September 17, 1986, Antonin Scalia, facing virtually no opposition, was confirmed 98–0 by the Senate. President Reagan’s uber-conservative nominee was confirmed with lightning speed. Now, you may be wondering what the political party makeup was at that time. In the 99th United States Congress, Republicans had 53 members and Democrats had 47 members. So yes, Republicans did indeed control the Senate, but that ultimately didn’t matter, as Democrats went along with Scalia’s confirmation.

Fast-forward to 2016, after the death of Justice Scalia, and Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, says the current president shouldn’t even bother to nominate Scalia’s replacement, because, well, politics. So, thirty years ago, Scalia faced no opposition from Senate Democrats, but in 2016, not only will an Obama nominee face opposition from Senate Republicans, but their leader has told a sitting president he shouldn’t even think about it.

Just some brain food to chew on if you find yourself supporting Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans.

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