Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008

Judiciary Committee Hearings, 1987 & 1991

The two most contentious confirmation hearings in recent Supreme Court history came on Biden’s watch: the nominations of Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991. Biden led respectful hearings for Bork, but the voting — widely considered to be on personal views rather than professional qualifications — set a fractious partisan precedent. Biden was criticized for not bringing Anita Hill’s accusations of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas before the committee until after they leaked in the media.

—Massimo Calabresi