On judges, Lugar more liberal than nearly every other Republican

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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When it comes to approving President Obama’s nominations, who are his favorite Republicans? According to our findings, Sens. Susan Collins, Scott Brown, and Richard Lugar should be at the top of his list.

Collins is from Maine and isn’t up for re-election this year. And Brown — who is running for re-election in liberal Massachusetts — might actually be aided by the news. But Sen. Richard Lugar is engaged in a heated Republican primary in Indiana right now. And of the 98 Obama nominations that resulted in a roll call vote, Lugar voted “no” on just six of them.

Of course, not every Obama nomination is a bad one. Even Sen. Jim DeMint voted for half of Obama’s nominations. But our findings show that, relative to the rest of the Republican conference, Lugar is to the left, ahead of only Collins, in terms of opposing Obama nominations that have gone through the judiciary committee.

Interestingly, Lugar declined an invitation to address the Indianapolis chapter of the Federalist Society today. A statement released by his primary opponent, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, notes that: “Lugar was only 1 of 9 Republicans to confirm Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and only 1 of 5 Republicans to confirm Kagan.”

Here’s a screen shot of the top (or bottom) of our findings (how often Members voted for Obama appointments):

Note: Our study included every Obama nomination that resulted in a roll call vote coming out of the judiciary committee (this obviously doesn’t count voice votes passed on unanimous consent.) The majority of these appointments were judicial, but some other nominations (such as Kagan for solicitor general, etc.) were also included.

Matt K. Lewis