The judge’s death Wednesday brings to mind his singular moment: the Senate’s rejection of his Supreme Court nomination in 1987. The criticism and assault against him marked a sea change in the process of both nominations and confirmations.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 6 Tuesday in favor of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination as a Supreme Court justice. The full Senate must now review her nomination, for confirmation. If approved—which is likely—Sotomayor will become the first Hispanic and only the third woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.