The (Nonexistent) Good Old Days

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Thurgood Marshall, solicitor general of the U.S., has a smoke during a Senate hearing on his fitness to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, July 19, 1967.

In the midst of several days of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings last week, Judge Neil Gorsuch took a moment to wax nostalgic for the days when the process took only 90 minutes and a nominee could relax, even smoke cigarettes, throughout the process. Later, one of Gorsuch's interrogators, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, did some reminiscing of his own, pointedly recalling a time when nominees offered up useful answers to questions and engaged in sincere discussion. Ah, the good old days.

But was it ever thus? Slate's Dahlia Lithwick took up the question on the most recent episode of her Amicus podcast, speaking with Supreme Court scholar Lori Ringhand about the actual history of Supreme Court confirmation hearings. We loved it and we think you will too. 

You can find more episodes of Slate's Amicus on iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts. You can find more of Dahlia's writing here, and follow her on Twitter here