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We’ve Explained that We Picked Him Because He’s a Moderate, drawing by Herbert Block [Herblock], September 23, 1987

Prints and Photographs, Library of Congress

We’ve Explained that We Picked Him Because He’s a Moderate, drawing by Herbert Block [Herblock], September 23, 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.