In the past senators would more readily overlook

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In the past, senators would more readily overlook certain characteristics in a nominee‘s past, but now that the public had access to the same records, such damning histories would not be overlooked. One misstep in a speech given decades before being nominated could easily derail a nomination.
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35 Controversial Nominations The media became so pervasive that often several players were affected. For example, the 1968 nomination of Justice Abe Fortas for elevation to Chief Justice by President Johnson largely affected the subsequent nomination of Clement F. Haynsworth. Although when making the nomination, the Senate seemed favorable, the nomination was filibustered on the floor and Fortas later asked Johnson to withdraw his nomination (Abraham 228). While Fortas surely thought the trouble was over, in 1969 Bob Woodward published an article in Life Magazine , claiming that Fortas had improper ties to the Wolfson family (Maltese 71). While on the Court, Fortas had received a payment from the Wolfson Family Foundation of about $20,000 for consulting services. The Foundation agreed then to pay Fortas another $20,000 annually for his services. Although this transaction was never found to be illegal, it looked like a payoff in the public eye. After the article was published, Fortas broke ties with the Wolfson family and returned the initial payment he received (Maltese 71). Then in May of 1969, Fortas resigned (Abraham 10). This was the only time a justice resigned because of information available in the media. Following the Fortas resignation, President Nixon nominated Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr. from the Fourth Circuit Appeals (Abraham 10). Although the Senate may have confirmed Haynsworth under other conditions, his nomination failed because of the similarities between him and Fortas. Haynsworth was the first nominee rejected since John J. Parker was rejected in 1930 (Maltese iv). The Senate could not approve a candidate who had a background similar to that of a justice who was just forced out. Several interest groups mobilized attacks against Haynsworth. Civil rights groups
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36 claimed Haynsworth was insensitive towards minorities because he voted against desegregation (Maltese 72). Despite all of the comments and allegations carried by the media, Haynsworth made no public statements that could be used against him. The administration, though, did little to help clear his name and never made any public statements defending the nomination (Maltese 74). Although this nomination occurred just prior to the onset of presidents publicly defending nominations, it is unclear whether the outcome would have changed any if Nixon had made some public appeal. Another not-so-stealth nominee, Robert Bork, had a much worse confirmation experience. A by-product of his confirmation hearings was a new verb —―to bork‖— meaning, ―‗to unleash a lobbying and public relations campaign of the kind employed successfully against Robert Bork‘‖ (Maltese vii). In 1987, following Justice Lewis
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