Robert Bork, Dead at 85

Robert Bork, Dead at 85Ronald Reagan appointed Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987. Four months later, the senate rejected his nomination. Ted Kennedy was his most vocal opponent. About Bork he wrote:

“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.”

The announcement of his nomination prompted protests by women’s rights groups, and even the ACLU, which has opposed only three justice nominees in its history.

He openly stated that he would reverse former decisions by the Supreme Court that he considered too liberal. Bork vocalized his opinions on several issues during the Senate hearings. He opposed Roe v Wade, and had his own interpretation of the first amendment, as well as the’ Right to Equal Protection’ clause of the fourteenth amendment. He also questioned a citizen’s “right to privacy”.

Nominees undergoing confirmation hearings by the Senate are much more cautious today, and wisely so. Although we are all aware that Supreme Court Justices are far from impartial, that is exactly what they are supposed to be. Stating your pre-appointment positions on Constitutional issues should void confirmation of any candidate. The entire purpose of the Supreme Court is to make decisions based on the wording of the Constitution, not personal beliefs.

The senate vote was 58 against his appointment, and 42 for. The open seat on the Court was eventually filled by Anthony Kennedy.

James Turnage

News Correspondent-The Guardian Express

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