Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.



As a friend reminds me, the 58-42 vote in favor of Judge Alito’s confirmation is the exact reverse of the 58-42 vote against Judge Bork’s confirmation in 1987. One big reason for the turnaround — and for the Democrats’ inability to “bork” Alito — is the role that the public’s increased awareness of liberal judicial activism has played in transforming the composition of the Senate over the past 12 years. There were 54 Democrats and 46 Republicans in 1987. Now there are 55 Republicans and 44 Democrats (plus “independent” Jeffords).


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