Steve Benen: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes her nomination would probably be defeated if it came up today. She’s correct:
Ginsburg said that to practice for her Senate confirmation hearings, White House staffers in mock hearings grilled her on her work for the ACLU. During those mock hearings she told them: “There’s nothing you can do to get me to bad mouth the ACLU.”
Such grilling, though, did not happen, she said. She was confirmed 96-3. “Today, my ACLU connection would probably disqualify me,” she said.
Ginsburg was the former director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, which would seem to make her a left-wing radical in the eyes of the Republican Party.
And yet, in 1993, Ginsburg was confirmed by the Senate on a 96-to-3 vote. That’s not a typo …. Note that plenty of Republican senators whose names will sound familiar – Chuck Grassley, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John McCain, Mitch McConnell – all voted for her nomination. (Then note that in 2010, Elena Kagan confirmed on a 63-to-37 vote – and Grassley, Hutchison, McCain, and McConnell all voted against her.)
….The political center of gravity has moved rather dramatically in a very short period of time.