The Bork Hearings: Highlights From the Most Controversial Judicial Confirmation Battle in U.S. History

The Bork hearings marked the beginning of a trend toward ideological evaluation of Supreme Court judicial nominees. These were the first and last hearings to feature such extensive discussion of legal and constitutional issues, as presidents quickly discovered that a nominee without a lengthy “paper trail” of opinions was more likely to escape the deep probing that Bork underwent.


Ralph E. Shaffer, professor of history at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, is author of The Accident at Central.