Advertisement
Share

5 justices overturned Roe vs. Wade. 91% of senators confirming them were men

Supreme Court justices sit and stand for a portrait.
Shown are the justices of the Supreme Court. Standing, from left, are Brett M. Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett. Seated, from left, are Samuel A. Alito Jr., Clarence Thomas, John G. Roberts Jr., Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
(Fred Schiller / U.S. Supreme Court)

Four of the five Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights nationwide, are men. When the Senate confirmed the justices, 91% of the yes votes came from men.

Three of the five justices were nominated by President Trump, who gained the White House despite losing the popular vote. The decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade is politically unpopular, with about 60% of Americans consistently opposing that move. And public opinion of the court itself is declining.

In the Senate hearings for the five justices, 71% of the votes cast by women were against confirmation; 42% of male senators’ votes were against.

Here are breakdowns, including by gender, of the Senate votes to confirm the five justices who voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

Advertisement

In 2020, President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, his third nomination to the Supreme Court. She was confirmed 52 to 48, with all Democrats and one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, voting no. In a chamber in which 26 of the 100 senators were women, 85% of the votes to confirm were from men.

Trump in 2018 nominated Brett M. Kavanaugh. He was confirmed 50 to 48, with just one Democrat — Joe Manchin of West Virginia — voting yes. Men accounted for 90% of the votes to confirm.

In 2017, Trump nominated Neil M. Gorsuch to the court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch was confirmed 54 to 45, with support from three moderate Democrats: Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Manchin. Of the votes to confirm, 89% came from men.

Samuel A. Alito Jr. was confirmed in 2006 as President George W. Bush’s second appointment to the court. (Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Bush’s first nominee, did not join the majority opinion overturning Roe.) Alito was confirmed by 58 to 42, with the support of four Democrats in a Senate made up of 86 men and 14 women. Men accounted for 91% of the yes votes.

In a notoriously combative 1991 confirmation, Clarence Thomas, President George H.W. Bush’s only nominee for the court, succeeded in a 52-48 vote. Eleven Democrats supported him and two Republicans opposed the confirmation. There were two women in the Senate at the time, and they split their votes.


Advertisement