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Votes on Supreme Court Nominees, 1970-present

Traditionally, Supreme Court Justices have been approved by the United States Senate by nearly the entire body. Only one nominee, Robert Bork has been voted down by the US Senate, 48-52. Clarence Thomas was approved by only 52-48, and the only other narrow margin was Samuel Alito at 58-42 (two short of a filibuster-proof majority). Barack Obama's nominees were approved 68-31 Sotomayer an 63-31 Kagan. While confirmations have become more partisan in recent years, generally most nominees are ultimately approved with 60 percent plus of the vote.