• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Will Bayh join the Borking?

Judge Robert Bork wasn't actually the first Supreme Court nominee to be Borked -- rejected by the Senate because of an effective smear campaign. It was Clement F. Haynsworth, way back in 1969. And Sen. Birch Bayh, father of Sen. Evan Bayh, had a major role. All things considered (including his desire to woo moderate Democrats), it will be interesting to see whether the junior Bayh follows the party line on Samuel Alito or goes his own way.


Wed, 11/16/2005 - 7:11am

I got Haynsworth confused with Carswell and was looking up Hruska's "mediocrity quote" when I found this interesting site on notable confirmation battles past:

From the brief description there, it looks like Carswell may have been payback for the Repubican filibuster of Johnson's nominee Abe Fortas. Both were also the subject of conflict of interest charges.

"1844-5 -- During the last 14 months of President John Tyler's term in office his nominees John Spencer, Ruben Walworth, Edward King and John Read are rejected; King is rejected twice. These constitute the most Supreme Court nomination rejections of any president. Tyler's strident support for states' rights angers the Whig-controlled Senate. Tyler finally gets a justice on the Supreme Court with the confirmation of Samuel Nelson in February 1845, just as he is leaving office."

. . .

"1870 -- One of the few appointments President Ulysses Grant makes is Ebenezer Hoar as justice of the Supreme Court. The Senate rejects Hoar's nomination, 33-24, due in part to his opposition to the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson and his past rejection of political patronage while serving as attorney general under Grant."

"1968 -- President Lyndon Johnson nominates sitting Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas to replace Earl Warren as chief justice. Republican senators, in the minority but heartened by the possibility of capturing the presidency in the fall, launch a filibuster against the nomination. Debate rages on Fortas' questionable financial activities and his role as a presidential adviser. His supporters are unable to muster enough votes to force cloture and Fortas asks Johnson to withdraw his nomination. Early the next year, he resigns from the court."

Steve Towsley
Thu, 11/17/2005 - 9:06am

I don't think there's nearly as much mystery about Evan Bayh and his supposed moderation as some people think there is. He appears to me to be a stealth liberal who votes moderately on issues which are not liberal sacred cows, but votes in lockstep with Kennedy, Boxer, Pelosi, Feinstein, Kerry, Schumer, Biden and the rest on any issue loved by the radical leadership of the party.

Supposedly moderate Democrats protest that generalizations should not be made about their party, but after being roundly rejected in '04 despite the largest Democrat turnout in history, they continue to love, support and maintain the old guard Democrats in Congress. If nothing changes, nothing changes.