I was asked by Cardianal44 in the comments to provide some of the details of the Republican attacks on Thurgood Marshall during Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings. That was a reasonable request, so here I go. The quotes from the Republican Senators come from a variety of sources, so I hope you will just trust that I didn't make them up:
"During the first day of Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, a number of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee took to attacking former Justice Thurgood Marshall, a civil rights hero. Kagan was a clerk for the former justice.
Several of the Republicans who brought up Marshall did so in a disparaging manner. Sen. Jeff Sessions tagged Marshall as "a well-known liberal activist judge," The Huffington Post reported.
"Justice Marshall's judicial philosophy," said Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, "is not what I would consider to be mainstream." Kyl was ready for a scrap. Marshall "might be the epitome of a results-oriented judge," he said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Marshall's legal view "does not comport with the proper role of a judge or judicial method."
Orrin Hatch was asked by a Utah newspaper whether he would have voted to confirm Marshall, the court's first black justice, had he been in the Senate back in 1967. "Well, it's hard to say," Hatch replied.
" Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) pronounced Marshall "a judicial activist" with a "judicial philosophy that concerns me."
All of which, of course, is nothing but the usual Republican cant- none bit of it has a shred of truth, as we all well know.
As the Republicans marshaled their anti-Marshall forces, staffers circulated to reporters details of the late justice's offenses: "Justice Marshall endorsed 'judicial activism,' supported abortion rights, and believed the death penalty was unconstitutional."
This attack was clearly organized in advance. There you go- organized, open racism from what claims to be one of our two major political parties.