Remember when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace the late Antonin Scalia as a Justice on the Supreme Court in 2016 only to have that nomination complete shut down Senate Republicans? Or remember when President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Court resulting Kavanaugh's sexual history played out before the national media?

My guest today writes about the Supreme Court for a living and has quite thoughtfully asked if the nomination process has always been so brutal? Michael  Bobelian is the author of Battle for the Marble Palace: Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and the Forging of the Modern Supreme Court in which he identifies the 1968 nomination of Abe Fortas to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as the turning point when what had been a mundane procedural vote became a bitter partisan feud. 

Michael is himself a lawyer as well as a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He covers the Supreme Court and other legal subjects for, and has contributed to numerous publications including Reuters, the LA Times, and NPR.

Michael joined me for a fascinating Skype interview about the Fortas nomination and what that means for us today.

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