8 nominees who didn't go to the Supreme Court

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If she's confirmed, Solicitor General Elena Kagan would become the fourth woman to sit on the Supreme Court. If not, at least she'll earn a spot on a future version of this list -- nominees who didn't make it to the bench, at least on their first try.

1. Robert Bork

In our time, the most famous rejected nominee is Robert H. Bork, a legal scholar and U.S. Court of Appeals judge with a long paper trail of conservative opinions. Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, Bork could have tilted the Court decisively to the right. As a known quantity, he was an easy target for liberal opponents, who organized a campaign against him. He was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee after 12 days of hearings.

2. Alexander Wolcott

"Oh degraded Country! How humiliating to the friends of moral virtue -- of religion and of all that is dear to the lover of his Country!" the New-York Gazette Advertiser wailed in 1811 over President James Madison's nomination of customs inspector Alexander Wolcott.

Wolcott's strong enforcement of the controversial embargoes against Great Britain and France cost him support in the Senate and in the press. The Senate turned him down by a 9-24 vote, the widest rejection in Supreme Court history....

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