Rubio exaggerates in saying it's been 80 years since a 'lame duck' made a Supreme Court nomination

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Rubio’s statement prompted several comments on Twitter from those who noted a specific exception to his claim: the nomination of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The Senate confirmed Kennedy 97-0 on Feb. 4, 1988. That was about 18 years ago -- not 80.

Kennedy replaced Justice Lewis Powell, who retired, and was Reagan’s third nomination for the opening, after Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg. Powell announced his retirement in June 1987.

Reagan, who was in his second term, nominated Kennedy in November 1987. Kennedy was confirmed in February 1988. In November 1988, Reagan’s vice president George H.W. Bush won the presidency....

We’re not certain which nomination Rubio was referring to 80 years ago. One possibility is when President Herbert Hoover nominated Benjamin Nathan Cardozo to fill a vacancy in February 1932, and Cardozo was confirmed that same month. Hoover then went on to lose re-election later that year.

"But Hoover was not a lame duck; he was eligible for re-election even though he lost," said Russell Wheeler, an expert on the courts at the Brookings Institution and former deputy director of the Federal Judicial Center.

Read entire article at Politifact

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