I give you:
In 1987, a whopping year and a half before the next presidential election, Democrats famously called for a "Phalanx" against any conservative justice Reagan might nominate to replace Lewis Powell. A year and a half before the election. And of course there was the obliteration of Robert Bork. I had a political science professor who was also an advisor for local Democratic politicians. Even he gasped when Kennedy laid the famous KKK blanket over Bork's reputation.
Reagan was forced to nominate moderate, centrist Kennedy in order to fill the vacancy. That nomination, of course, is what many "former Conservatives" use to buttress their case that the GOP has never cared about pro-life issues. So a double victory for liberal Democrats. Not only do they have a justice who more or less votes with liberalism as often as not, but also one who was such a compromise that it caused divisions and dissent within the GOP.
By the way, I'm not saying that the Bork and Kennedy era was the first time there was ever such partisanship. Of course not. But I am incensed that we have Democrats like Senator Leahy running around acting as if nothing like what the GOP is saying about Obama's replacement for Scalia has ever happened. I'm at least incensed that I'm not seeing interviewers call him out. All they have to do is go back to that era where MTV still played videos for an example. If journalists do that, perhaps someday an interviewer might even bring it up to the good Senator Leahy.