How we became a nomination nation
The New York Times has an article exploring the history of the current fight over nominations.
First, the new president and his aides turned to the Federalist Society, aNothing really earth shattering, but a good primer on where we've been and where we might be headed.
conservative lawyers' group, to help select candidates. Of Mr. Bush's first
batch of nominees, 8 of 11 were proposed by the society. There could have been
no clearer signal that Mr. Bush intended to follow the pattern set by his father
and President Ronald Reagan of shifting the courts rightward and reaping the
political benefit of pleasing social conservatives.
Then, at a weekend retreat in April 2001, Democratic senators adopted an aggressive new strategy in dealing with judicial candidates. Under Mr. Bush's Republican predecessors, the Democrats believed they could block only candidates with egregious faults. But that weekend, two prominent law professors and a women's rights lobbyist urged the senators to oppose even nominees with strong credentials and no embarrassing flaws, simply because the White House was trying to push the courts in a conservative direction.