If it's really a showdown...
Here it's worth noting that Fortas--who was already a member of the court--subsequently resigned that powerful and prestigious position. And after he resigned, his former law firm wouldn't give him his old job back. Draw your own conclusions.
In any case, Senate Republicans are now considering a change to Senate rules that would ban use of the filibuster on judicial nominees only. The MSM have printed and broadcast many stories depicting this as a violation of the sacred rules of the Senate, and as an abuse of power by the Republican majority.
I think the real showdown here is the campaign by the MSM to defeat the GOP's effort to prevent filibusters from being used on judicial nominees. Virtually every story by the MSM has depicted the Republicans as eeeevil schemers bent on oppressing the poor Democrats.
Now Senate minority leader Reid is threatening to effectively shut down the Senate if Frist moves to invoke the "Constitutional option." Back when Newt Gingrich and House Republicans naively tried the same thing on the House side after President Clinton refused to compromise, the MSM wrote that cold-hearted Republicans were causing poor senior citizens to starve because their Social Security checks were delayed. Ultimately the Republicans gave up, and the MSM crowed for months.
If Reid does shut down the Senate, anyone wanna' bet how the same MSM will spin that story?