At her 1993 confirmation hearing, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, invoking her ethical obligation as a judge to maintain both the fact and the appearance of impartiality, steadfastly declined to answer any questions about her current views on issues that might come before the Court. As she explained the Ginsburg Standard in answering a question about "sexual orientation": "I cannot say one word on that subject that would not violate what I said had to be my rule about no hints, no forecasts, no previews." On issue after issue after issue, Ginsburg applied this standard in not answering questions.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, both Republicans and Democrats. respected the line that Ginsburg drew. Senate Republicans, embracing the principle that President Clinton's nominee was entitled to substantial deference, joined Senate Democrats in expeditiously confirming Ginsburg by a 96-3 vote.
Think the Senate will maintain the much ballyhooed comity exhibited when a Democrat president made a nomination? File this one under the heading "More Reasons Why There is a Real Difference Between Republicans and Democrats!"
Make sure to read the full piece which describes Ginsburg's opposition to Mother's Day and the Boy Scouts if you want to know what Senator Kennedy means when he talks about "mainstream" judges.