The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Marc A. Thiessen (writing in The Post) has an interesting column on this. An excerpt:
On Jan. 27, 1992, President Bush nominated [John] Roberts to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Roberts was immensely qualified for the job. He had served since 1989 as principal deputy solicitor general of the United States, arguing 39 cases before the Supreme Court, making him one of the country's most experienced Supreme Court litigators.
But his nomination to the federal bench was dead on arrival at Biden's Senate Judiciary Committee. Biden refused to even hold a hearing on Roberts's nomination, much less a vote in committee or on the Senate floor…. It was only about a decade later that he was re-nominated to the federal bench by President George W. Bush—and we all know the rest of the story….
For more, read the whole piece. Some 1992 circuit court nominees were confirmed—but not Roberts, who had been nominated to the District of Columbia Circuit, which is often thought of as especially important.