Supreme Court Appointments: Judge Bork and the Politicization of Senate Confirmations

Synopsis

Norman Vieira and Leonard Gross provide an in-depth analysis of the political and legal framework surrounding the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees. President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court met with a fierce opposition that was apparent in his confirmation hearings, which were different in many ways from those of any previous nominee. This behind-the-scenes view of the politics and personalities involved in the Bork confirmation controversy provides a framework for future debates regarding the confirmation process. To help establish that framework, Vieira and Gross examine the similarities as well as the differences between the Bork confirmation battle and other confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominees.