Former US Sen. Charles Percy of Illinois, who passed on Saturday, was a moderate Republican whose views put him at odds with conservatives including former President Richard Nixon.
The Supreme Court was designed by the Founders to be elitist.
Confirmation of Supreme Court nominees has not always been so contentious. But with the defeat of Robert Bork in 1987, nominees' political positions as well as their judicial qualifications have been probed. This will likely be the case in replacing retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.