In the entire history of the United States Supreme Court only one justice has been
a) nominated by a president who didn’t win the popular vote
b) confirmed by a majority of senators who collectively won fewer votes in their last election than did the senators who voted against that justice’s confirmation

Yes, of course, Justice Kavanaugh. The minority won over the majority.

And then there’s the instance of Justice Gorsuch. The 54 senators who voted to elevate Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court had received around 54 million votes, and the 45 senators who opposed him got more than 73 million votes.

Therefore, 58 percent of the voters chose senators who voted against Gorsuch, and 42 percent of voters chose senators who voted for Gorsuch. And yet Gorsuch took his seat on the Supreme Court. Once again, the minority won over the majority. So, if you’ve always believed that in American politics the majority rules, you’re mistaken.

Five presidents have now taken office after losing the popular vote.

No Democratic president has ever taken office after losing the popular vote.

And justices nominated by Democrats have never been confirmed by such narrow margins as Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh. Of the four liberals currently on the court, all received 63 votes or more, from senators winning and representing clear majorities of their votes.

Yes, there’s plenty wrong with this picture, and I’ll write more about it in future posts.

See Michael Tomasky’s article in the New York Times from which I got these figures. And see an academic article by Kevin McMahon of Trinity College.