Adam Liptak had an extensive article in Monday’s New York Times on a recent study of the questions and answers in Supreme Court nomination hearings between 1939 and 2009. In an early paragraph, Liptak claims that the study, which was done by political science professor Paul Collins of the University of North Texas and professor Lori Ringhand of the University of Georgia law school, “refutes the common mistaken belief that questions about abortion rights have played a dominant role in confirmation hearings since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.”
First of all, Liptak doesn’t cite anything to substantiate his claim that this belief is common. Second, the charge by law professors and political scientists since the 1980s has been that abortion plays a disproportionate role in the selection and evaluation of Supreme Court nominees, which is not the same thing as saying that the issue plays too large a role in the Q & A in the hearings themselves.
Be sure to go here to read the whole thing.