Hyper-partisan Supreme Court Battles Did Not Begin With Bork

In “How America Was Lost,” Paul Krugman laments Republicans’ pledge to reject out-of-hand any nomination by President Barack Obama to replace Antonia Scalia, who died of a heart attack. He suggests that Republicans’ hyper-partisanship, when the Supreme Court is supposed to be above party, has made America ungovernable.

A commenter replies that the hyper-partisanship regarding high court nominees began with Senator Edward Kennedy’s attacks on Reagan nominee Robert Bork in 1987. But that’s not true. Bork’s rejection was not entirely partisan. His nomination lost 58 to 42. Two Democrats voted for him, and six Republicans voted against him: Chafee, R.I. Packwood, Ore. Specter, Pa. Stafford, Vt. Warner, Va. Weicker, Conn.

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