The US supreme Court has been under intense scrutiny the last couple of years, and perhaps no member has been in a harsher spotlight than Clarence Thomas.
But Thomas is no stranger to controversy and criticism.
The political opposition began virtually as soon as he was nominated to the high court by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, to succeed the retiring Thurgood Marshall.
About this time, Thomas coined the phrase “high-tech lynching” to describe his experience.
Helping shepherd the Thomas nomination through the US Senate was Missouri Republican John Danforth. He was a long time friend, colleague, and even mentor to Thomas, and was eager to see him win confirmation.
That opposition reached a crescendo when a former co-worker of Thomas’s, a woman named Anita Hill, came forth to testify about alleged sexual harassment by Thomas.
Thomas did, of course, ultimately when confirmation. And in 1994 Danforth wrote a book describing the Clarence Thomas episode.
And that’s when I met the Senator. So here now, from 1994, Senator John Danforth.
John Danforth will be 87 next month.
Clarence Thomas is the oldest member of the current Supreme Court, and is its longest-serving current associate justice.
As the U.S. Senate moved closer to confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, we’re reminded that not all nominees have such an easy ride.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated appeals court judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. But after a contentious hearing, the Senate rejected Bork’s nomination. And now, in fact, his name has become virtually synonymous with ignominious defeat, as in “he got borked.”
One of the several times I interviewed him was in 1991, not long after David Souter was confirmed to a seat on the high court. As you’ll hear in this interview.
So here now, from 1990 oh, Robert Bork.
Robert Bork retired from his seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1988 and resumed his teaching career.