|Source: The Weekly Standard Robert H. Bork-|
I'm sure there were tough Supreme Court nomination debates pre-1987 before Robert Bork, but perhaps not before. Not only the TV age, but the TV cable age where there was twenty-four-hour coverage of Congress everyday with C-SPAN. Which is probably a reason why the Bork nomination was so controversial I guess and divisive. Where you had Democrats who couldn't stand the idea of a Robert Bork on the U.S. Supreme Court and you had Republicans who were in love with Bob Bork and represented exactly what they wanted on the Supreme Court. Especially Neoconservative traditionalist Republicans who question whether or not the United States has a right to privacy and how they believe our freedom of speech shouldn't be as strong as it is and don't see things like indefinite detention and the Patriot Act and censorship of certain media as unconstitutional. And how he would've been the exact choice in who Neoconservatives in and outside of the Bush Administration and exactly who they would've wanted on the Supreme Court. Instead of who they got instead which was Anthony Kennedy who has more of a libertarian streak in him.
Another thing that separated Bob Bork from judicial nominations that came after him, was the fact that Judge Bork would almost go out-of-his-way to let the Senate know where he stands on the issues. And said things like the right to privacy doesn't exist and that Roe V. Wade that made abortion legal in the United States was unconstitutional. And decided improperly to use as examples and post-Bork judicial nominations have gone out-of-their-way not to let the Senate know where they stand on the issues. And what they would do instead is tell Senators what they know about cases that they are talking about, but would refuse to tell them what they think about them, just what they know about them. So we would see judicial nominees like John Roberts and Elena Kagan who are very familiar with the cases in front of them, but wouldn't give much of even a hint on where they stand on those cases for fear of being seen as too ideological.
I'm sure Bob Bork was a very fine man certainly a very honest man and you knew where he stood on the issues. But I'm sure as hell glad as a Liberal Democrat that he was rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate on a bipartisan vote because of where he stood on civil liberties and things like are Federal civil rights laws constitutional or not. Which I believe they clearly are and i'ts almost silly to debate I believe. And believe Judge Bork would've been dangerous to have up on the Supreme Court as we are now debating civil liberties and individual freedom in this country. The other thing I don't get about the Bork Supreme Court nomination is the President who appointed him. President Ronald Reagan a man that described his own politics as libertarian in 1975 and really never ran from that. Didn't give the Christian-Right and other big government Republicans much to admire him as far as policy when he became President. And maybe that is why he nominates Bob Bork, because he saw that as is way to pay back the Far-Right for their support.
Traditionalism-C-SPAN: Booknotes With Brian Lamb- Slouching Towards Gomorrah With Robert Bork