Given the media coverage of the Clarence Thomas hearings now nearly 20 years ago, you’d think the American people had been overwhelmingly opposed to the confirmation of that good man to the U.S. Supreme Court. And while his critics kept up their criticism of that man even after he took his seat on the court, his supporters were, by and large, content to let him do his job (hence a decline in his support).
But, at the close of his confirmation hearings when both sides were actively pursuing their case, nearly three in five Americans supported his confirmation while fewer than a third were against. Contrast that with the support Elena Kagan currently enjoys. Her support is only “lukewarm” with fewer than half of all Americans supporting her confirmation. 58% of Americans supported that of Justice Thomas, more than supported the confirmation of Democrats Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Sonia Sotomayor:
If confirmed, Kagan would be the first successful nominee in recent years whose nomination was backed by less than a majority of Americans in the final poll before the Senate confirmation vote (or, in the case of Harriet Miers, before her nomination was withdrawn).
Somehow, I don’t think this will generate much commentary outside the rightosphere.