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“Senate Rejects Bork for Supreme Court, 58-42,” Los Angeles Times, October 24, 1987

The Senate rejected Robert Bork’s appointment by a vote of 42–58, the largest margin of rejection for a Supreme Court nominee to that date. It was the twelfth time in U.S. history that the full Senate rejected a candidate for the Supreme Court, and it highlighted a growing partisan divide over judicial nominations.

Los Angeles Times

“Senate Rejects Bork for Supreme Court, 58-42,” Los Angeles Times, October 24, 1987

The Senate Rejects a Supreme Court Nominee

President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork, a prominent conservative judge, to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in 1987. Bork gained notoriety in 1973 when President Richard Nixon directed him to fire the special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal. During his 1987 confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Bork refused to discuss his political philosophy, but his published record aroused liberal opposition. Bork’s nomination signaled a growing polarization in the Senate’s confirmation process.

Presidential appointments of Supreme Court justices require the Senate’s advice and consent. In 1987 the Senate rejected the nomination of Judge Robert Bork by the largest margin in Senate history.