It could have been worse for Clarence Thomas. In 1991, there were only water coolers for discussion sites. Today, there are:
Supreme Court Nomination BlogA comprehensive roundup of high-minded analysis, handicapping, and outright rumor-mongering. SCOTUSblogWhere so much of the blogging is about other blogging about the nomination, that, even for blogging, it is meta-blogging. Underneath Their RobesWonkier than Wonkette, this is actually a well-regarded blog by an anonymous, self-described federal judge starf***er, who claims to have graduated from an Ivy League college in the mid-1990s and a top five law school in the late-1990s, with nearly perfect transcripts at both institutions and to have clerked for a highly respected federal appeals court judge. How AppealingA relatively readable legal news blog, with good links. Legal Theory BlogFor anyone disgusted by the schoolyard whispering at the other legal sites, here is a somber dose of comments and reports on recent scholarship in jurisprudence, law and philosophy, law and economic theory, and theoretical work in substantive areas, such as constitutional law, cyberlaw, procedure, criminal law, intellectual property, torts, contracts, etc. As of this writing, the topic of Supreme Court nominations had not even made it into the etc.
Of course, each of the above blogs links to jillions of others. The resulting universe of on-the-one-hand-but-on-the-other-hand chatter is either the wonderful opening up of an elite field, or the normal person's nightmarish equivalent of being trapped in a roomful of lawyers. But it can't be said that the information is not out there.
Of course, the system keeps the public from directly doing anything with that information - i.e., picking the justices. Something about insulating the judiciary from the ugliness of politics. But here are some folks who will care very much what the people think, come Election Day: