Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Regarding the president's nomination for the Supreme Court, some right-wing interests are tossing around phrases like the "Ginsburg precedent" which refers to President Clinton's nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993.

The argument being put forth is that Clinton got a liberal nominated to the court without the objection of conservatives. In fact, Clinton intended to nominate Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, but consulted Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) who was ranking member on the Judiciary Commitee since Republicans were in the minority at the time.

From Hatch's auto-biography:

"Our conversation moved to other potential candidates. I asked whether he had considered Judge Stephen Breyer of the First Circuit Court of Appeals or Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. President Clinton indicated he had heard Breyer's name but had not thought about Judge Ginsberg.

I indicated I thought they would be confirmed easily. I knew them both and believed that, while liberal, they were highly honest and capable jurists and their confirmation would not embarrass the President. From my perspective, they were far better than the other likely candidates from a liberal Democrat administration.

In the end, the President did not select Secretary Babbitt. Instead, he nominated Judge Ginsburg and Judge Breyer a year later, when Harry Blackmun retired from the Court. Both were confirmed with relative ease."


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