A Segal–Cover score is an attempt to measure the "perceived qualifications and ideology" of nominees to the United States Supreme Court. The scores are created by analyzing pre-confirmation newspaper editorials regarding the nominations from The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Wall Street Journal. Each nominee receives two scores that range from 0 to 1:
- Qualifications: 0 means unqualified and 1 means extremely qualified
- Ideology: 0 means most conservative, and 1 means most liberal.
The Segal–Cover scoring was introduced by Jeffrey Segal and Albert Cover (both of Stony Brook University) in their 1989 article "Ideological Values and the Votes of U.S. Supreme Court Justices". The scores have been updated by Segal to cover all nominees from Hugo Black in 1937 to the 2010 nomination of Elena Kagan. In 2017, Segal provided the scores for Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court Database.
Segal and Cover found that the scores are strongly correlated with the subsequent votes of the justices. Because the scores are based on perceptions before the nominee takes a seat on the Court, they also provide "reliable measures of the ideological values of Supreme Court justices that are independent of the votes they later cast."
The Segal–Cover perceived qualifications and ideology scores for all nominees to the Court from 1937–2017:
|1||Hugo Black||67 – 18||0.875||0.160||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat)||1937|
|2||Stanley F. Reed||Voice Vote||0.725||0.875||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat)||1938|
|3||Felix Frankfurter||Voice Vote||0.665||0.965||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat)||1939|
|4||William O. Douglas||62 – 4||0.730||0.820||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat)||1939|
|5||Frank Murphy||Voice Vote||1.000||0.650||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat)||1940|
|6||Harlan F. Stone||CJ||Voice Vote||0.300||1.000||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat)||1941|
|7||James F. Byrnes||Voice Vote||0.330||0.800||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat)||1941|
|8||Robert H. Jackson||Voice Vote||1.000||0.915||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat)||1941|
|9||Wiley B. Rutledge||Voice Vote||1.000||1.000||Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat)||1943|
|10||Harold H. Burton||Voice Vote||0.280||0.930||Harry S. Truman (Democrat)||1945|
|11||Fred M. Vinson||CJ||Voice Vote||0.750||0.785||Harry S. Truman (Democrat)||1946|
|12||Tom C. Clark||73 – 8||0.500||0.125||Harry S. Truman (Democrat)||1949|
|13||Sherman Minton||48 – 16||0.720||0.355||Harry S. Truman (Democrat)||1949|
|14||Earl Warren||CJ||Voice Vote||0.750||0.855||Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)||1953|
|15||John M. Harlan II||71 – 11||0.875||0.750||Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)||1955|
|16||William J. Brennan, Jr.||Voice Vote||1.000||1.000||Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)||1956|
|17||Charles E. Whittaker||Voice Vote||0.500||1.000||Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)||1957|
|18||Potter Stewart||70 – 17||0.750||1.000||Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)||1958|
|19||Byron White||Voice Vote||0.500||0.500||John F. Kennedy (Democrat)||1962|
|20||Arthur J. Goldberg||Voice Vote||0.750||0.915||Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat)||1965|
|21||Abe Fortas||Voice Vote||1.000||1.000||Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat)||1965|
|22||Thurgood Marshall||69 – 11||1.000||0.835||Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat)||1967|
|23||Abe Fortas||CJ||45 – 43 *||0.845||0.635||Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat)||1968|
|24||Warren E. Burger||CJ||74 – 3||0.115||0.960||Richard M. Nixon (Republican)||1969|
|25||Clement Haynsworth, Jr.||45 – 55||0.160||0.335||Richard M. Nixon (Republican)||1969|
|26||G. Harrold Carswell||45 – 51||0.040||0.111||Richard M. Nixon (Republican)||1969|
|27||Harry A. Blackmun||94 – 0||0.115||0.970||Richard M. Nixon (Republican)||1970|
|28||Lewis F. Powell, Jr.||89 – 1||0.165||1.000||Richard M. Nixon (Republican)||1972|
|29||William Rehnquist||68 – 26||0.045||0.885||Richard M. Nixon (Republican)||1972|
|30||John Paul Stevens||98 – 0||0.250||0.960||Gerald Ford (Republican)||1975|
|31||Sandra Day O'Connor||99 – 0||0.415||1.000||Ronald Reagan (Republican)||1981|
|32||William Rehnquist||CJ||65 – 33||0.045||0.400||Ronald Reagan (Republican)||1986|
|33||Antonin Scalia||98 – 0||0.000||1.000||Ronald Reagan (Republican)||1986|
|34||Robert H. Bork||42 – 58||0.095||0.790||Ronald Reagan (Republican)||1987|
|35||Douglas Ginsburg||Withdrawn||0.000||0.320||Ronald Reagan (Republican)||1987|
|36||Anthony Kennedy||97 – 0||0.365||0.890||Ronald Reagan (Republican)||1988|
|37||David Souter||90 – 9||0.325||0.765||George H. W. Bush (Republican)||1990|
|38||Clarence Thomas||52 – 48||0.160||0.415||George H. W. Bush (Republican)||1991|
|39||Ruth Bader Ginsburg||96 – 3||0.680||1.000||Bill Clinton (Democrat)||1993|
|40||Stephen G. Breyer||87 – 9||0.475||0.545||Bill Clinton (Democrat)||1994|
|41||John G. Roberts||CJ||78 – 22||0.120||0.970||George W. Bush (Republican)||2005|
|42||Harriet E. Miers||Withdrawn||0.270||0.360||George W. Bush (Republican)||2005|
|43||Samuel Alito||58 – 42||0.100||0.810||George W. Bush (Republican)||2006|
|44||Sonia Sotomayor||68 – 31||0.780||0.810||Barack Obama (Democrat)||2009|
|45||Elena Kagan||63 – 37||0.730||0.730||Barack Obama (Democrat)||2010|
|46||Neil Gorsuch||54 – 45||0.110||0.930||Donald Trump (Republican)||2017|
* The vote on Fortas for the Chief Justice position was on cloture and failed to receive the necessary two-thirds majority.
A highlighted row indicates that the Justice is currently serving on the Court. A Senate vote in red text indicates that the nomination was blocked.
- Supreme Court of the United States
- Ideological leanings of U.S. Supreme Court justices
- Martin Quinn Scores
- Segal, Jeffrey A.; Cover, Albert D. (June 1989). "Ideological Values and the Votes of U.S. Supreme Court Justices". The American Political Science Review. 83 (2): 557–565. doi:10.2307/1962405. JSTOR 1962405.
- Segal, Jeffrey A.; Epstein, Lee; Cameron, Charles M.; Spaeth, Harold J. (August 1995). "Ideological Values and the Votes of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Revisited". The Journal of Politics. 57 (03): 812–823. doi:10.2307/2960194.
- Segal, Jeffrey A. "Perceived Qualifications and Ideology of Supreme Court Nominees, 1937-2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- Epstein, Lee; Walker, Thomas G.; Staudt, Nancy; Hendrickson, Scott; Roberts, Jason (July 3, 2017). "The U.S. Supreme Court Justices Database". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
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