Headline from the AP today:
"Battle Over Nominee May Center on Abortion"
Yep. That could be boiler-plate template text for the next 20 years for any Republican nominated Supreme Court justice--well, Democrat, too, but it is assumed a Democrat will always appoint a Roe v. Wade supporter. Ah, but I'm sure a Democrat will divert from the "party-line" at some point, so don't assume.
We have had Supreme Court justice nominees "borked," named for the treatment Robert Bork received when he was nominated until he withdrew his nomination. Clarence Thomas was accused of sexual harrassment--although it is interesting that Anita Hill waits until the nomination goes to the full Senate to come forward. And recently President Bush's nominees for lower courts have been denied or filibustered because the candidates were "too radical"--never mind that many of these candidates have won overwhelming majorities in elections and some of them even in Democrat strongholds!
Even nominating blacks and women haven't detracted from this debate. At the core of the debate will be be underway now that Bush has named a nominee is his views on abortion (couched, of course, in legal terms and positions the candidate has taken. But don't forget the litmus test from which all debate will spring is the person's views and any rulings in the past in regard to abortion or anything remotely close to abortion and Roe v. Wade).
So, yes, ever since Reagan was president "Battle Over Nominee May Center on Abortion" has been a given. So why is it news today?