1. President Nixon had two Supreme Court nominees defeated by the Senate: Clement Haynsworth (55-45) and G. Harrold Carswell (52-45).
2. President Obama’s nominees for secretary of Commerce (Bill Richardson) and Health and Human Services (Tom Daschle) withdrew before their confirmation hearings.
3. President Clinton (first term) had two attorney general nominees — Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood — withdraw because of nanny problems.
4. President George H.W. Bush’s nominee for Defense secretary, John Tower, was defeated 53-47 in the Senate because of his ties to defense contractors and problems in his personal life.
5. President Reagan unsuccessfully nominated two Supreme Court justices before settling on Anthony Kennedy. Judge Douglas Ginsburg was derailed after his admission of youthful marijuana use and Judge Robert Bork was the victim of ideological opposition.
6. President George W. Bush’s nomination of Bernard Kerik to be secretary of Homeland Security was withdrawn after allegations surfaced that Kerik had employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny.
7. President Clinton (second term) had to resort to recess appointments when the GOP-led Senate refused to confirm Bill Lann Lee as assistant attorney general for civil rights and James Hormel to be ambassador to Luxembourg.
8. President Lyndon Johnson tried to elevate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas to be chief justice. However, a successful Senate filibuster over Fortas’s acceptance of $15,000 in speaking fees from private business interests blocked his nomination.
9. President Tyler set a record by making five Supreme Court nominations without having any confirmed.
10. President Dwight Eisenhower attempted to appoint Adm. Lewis L. Strauss as secretary of Commerce but Strauss faced opposition on ideological grounds and personal animosity from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Clinton P. Anderson (D.-N.M.). Strauss’s appointment was defeated by a 49-to-46 vote.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter