1. Describe the nomination process for this judge. This should go into some detail about his previous rulings and ease of the nomination process and any other significant events that occurred during the hearing of the nominee.
2. Why do you think the president nominated this particular judge? Are there any patterns in presidential nominations? If so, does this nominee follow the pattern?
3. What was the outcome of the nomination/confirmation process?
4. What effect has this nomination had on the Court?
1. President Reagan nominated him in 1987. He was the solicitor general during President Nixon’s term. He was responsible for firing the special prosecutor assigned to investigate President Nixon. This act came to be known as the Saturday Night Massacre. He was known for basing his rulings on the “original intent” of the Constitution. He was most known for his conservative views on voting, free speech, and reproductive rights (Mears).
2. President Reagan nominated Bork to move the court to the right. The retiring justice whose seat Bork was nominated for was a centrist and Bork was a known conservative. After the Senate rejected Mr. Bork, President Reagan stuck to his conservative philosophy and nominated Anthony Kennedy. Another common thread running through President Reagan’s nominations was that he had either nominated these candidates for lower court positions or had worked with them previously (Mears).
3. He was rejected after a bitter opposition from the liberals. In fact, his name came to be used as a verb. To “Bork” someone meant to oppose the opposite ideology simply for partisan politics (Mears).
4. Two judges, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, followed his example of a strict interpretation of the Constitution (“A Short Biography”). Scalia was confirmed to the Supreme Court and shared a similar ideology with Bork (Mears).
1. The nomination process for Clarence Thomas was very controversial. In fact, his was the one of the narrowest confirmations in a century. It was 52 for and 48 against. Most felt that Thomas was not qualified to become a Supreme Court Justice, as he did not have enough experience. Of course, what set this confirmation apart from others were the allegations of sexual harassment by his former aide, Anita Hill (“Clarence Thomas Biography”).
2. An African American justice, Thurgood Marshall, was retiring and President George W. Bush wanted to replace him with another African American. Marshall was a liberal, but President Bush wanted a conservative to replace him. President Bush nominated all conservative judges and made no secret of that fact. He also nominated those judges who he felt would follow a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Aside from Clarence Thomas, he nominated conservative judges John Roberts and Samuel Alito (“Clarence Thomas Biography”).
3. Thomas confirmed and is still serving on the bench.
4. Clarence Thomas’ rulings have closely followed those of Antonin Scalia. They both follow a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Most notably, he has come out against Affirmative Action (“Clarence Thomas Biography”).
Sandra Day O’Connor
1. President Reagan nominated the first woman for the Supreme Court nominated Sandra Day O’Connor. Prior to that, she had served as a Republican senator from Arizona. She was a conservative Republican and had built a reputation for being fair (“Sandra Day O’Connor”).
2. President Reagan had a great many opportunities to nominate Supreme Court justices and he without exception chose only conservative Republicans. Sandra Day O’Connor was no exception (“Sandra Day O’Connor”).
3. She was unanimously confirmed to the bench and made history as the first female Supreme Court justice.
4. Sandra Day O’Connor was a moderate Republican. She mostly voted along her conservative bent, yet she disliked basing her judgments along party lines. In a surprising move, she refused to follow the party line and did not vote to repeal Roe v. Wade, the case for abortion rights. She did, however, vote along party lines in the Bush v. Gore election (“Sandra Day O’Connor”).
"Clarence Thomas Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
Mears, Bill, and Ashley Killough. "Robert Bork, Known for Contentious Supreme Court Nomination, Dies at 85." CNN. Cable News Network, 20 Dec. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
"Sandra Day O'Connor Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
"A Short Biography on Justice Clarence Thomas." Justice Clarence Thomas. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.