Some SCOTUS nominees (by presidents of both parties) get lots of votes from the other side while others don't. This does seem to be going down in recent years but we can't know if that's cause of a change in the type of nominee or Senate or what. (best chart I could find, sorry)
I'm undecided. While they are very important, at some point, minority protections become minority rule by stalemate.
Interesting note, while Reid and the Democrats got rid of it for lesser nominations, it was McConnell and the Republicans who expanded that exception to SCOTUS nominees.
also, looking at the chart and if I understand correctly, it could have been but wasn't even used for Thomas and Alito. simpler times?
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