As confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan commence, many eyes will be on the political showdown before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
President Barack Obama nominated the former dean of Harvard Law School and current Solicitor General to the post back in April, after Justice John Paul Stevens announced he would retire.
Ahead of Monday's hearing, Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal and a regular NewsHour Supreme Court analyst, visited Hari Sreenivasan and the Rundown to give a brief history of past confirmation hearings. She reveals how it was the hearings of the candid judge Robert Bork and the controversial Clarence Thomas that shaped the present confirmation process.
Kagan's confirmation hearing is the second in the past year, as current Justice Sonia Sotomayor faced the committee almost a year ago to the day.
Watch as Coyle gives insight into the confirmation process from the steps of the Supreme Court here in Washington, D.C.
"Presidents have also started to pick nominees with less of a paper trail that could derail their confirmation." Marcia Coyle, National Law Journal
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy." Edward "Ted" Kennedy, during the 1987 confirmation hearings of judge Robert Bork.
1. Which court is referred to as the "highest court of the land" in the United States?
2. What branch of Congress holds Supreme Court confirmation hearings?
3. Name the committe that oversees Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
1. Do senators of the same political party as the president often times support his Supreme Court nominee? Why or why not?
2. According to the video, what was the highlight of Justice Sandra Day O'Conner's confirmation hearing?
3. Are Supeme Court nominees more likely, or less likely, to be candid during hearings when answering questions about cases like Roe v. Wade? Why or why not?
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