Conservative solicitor general Robert H. Bork dies
Lengthy political career added word to U.S. political lexicon - 'borked'
Robert H. Bork had a long and illustrious career in American politics. A former solicitor general, federal judge and staunch conservative, his actions added a new phrase to the U.S. political lexicon - "Borked." He has passed away from complications due to heart disease; he was 85.
Robert H. Bork was senior judicial adviser this year to the presidential campaign of Governor Mitt Romney. He also played a small but crucial role in the Watergate crisis as the solicitor general under President Richard M. Nixon.
Bork was senior judicial adviser this year to the presidential campaign of Governor Mitt Romney. He also played a small but crucial role in the Watergate crisis as the solicitor general under President Richard M. Nixon.
Bork carried out orders to fire a special prosecutor in what became known as "the Saturday Night Massacre." Judge Bork is best known as a conservative in the nation's cultural wars.
Judge Bork's defeat as a Supreme Court nominee, in spite of a presidential nomination was largely believed to be due to his perceived judicial philosophy and temperament. Thus, the term "borked" came to describe a nominee rejected for what supporters consider political motives.
The success of the anti-Bork campaign is thought to have shifted the tone of Supreme Court nominations since then, giving them an often strong political cast and making it difficult for a nominee with firmly held views ever to get confirmed.
Judge Bork, then 60 years of age, was sitting on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit when President Ronald Reagan announced on July 1, 1987, that he was nominating him to the high court to replace Lewis Powell. Within an hour of the announcement, Senator Edward M. Kennedy set the tone for with a scathing speech.
"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, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is - and is often the only - protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy."
Judge Bork argued his whole life long that American judges, acting to please liberal elite, have hijacked the struggle over national values by overstepping their role, especially in many of the most important decisions on civil rights and liberties, personal autonomy and regulation of business.
Bork advocated a view of judging known as "strict constructionism," or "originalism," as it seeks to limit constitutional values to those explicitly enunciated by the Framers and to reject those that evolved in later generations.
Bork rejected the view that the courts had rightly come to the aid of those neglected by the majority. He believed that majorities, through legislatures, should be empowered to make all decisions not specifically addressed in the Constitution.
His biggest political battle was when he took issue with the Supreme Court's assertion in the 1960s and '70s that the Constitution implicitly recognizes a right of privacy that bars states from outlawing abortion or the use of contraceptives by married couples.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- David and Goliath: Radiance Foundation and Ryan Bomberger Defend Children, Stand Up to the NAACP
- Anti-Christian Persecution: Christians Forced out of Business in Colorado and New Mexico
- Mary, Our Lady of Quatlasupe - She who crushes the head of the serpent, is leading the New Evangelization
- Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action' to end global hunger
- HISTORICAL TREASURE: Shipwreck hunter finds 152-year-old Civil War-era ship in Lake Huron
- My Journey Home to the Church and to Penance, the Sacrament of Freedom
- Crisis pregnancy Centers: Heeding Pope Francis' Call to 'Accompany' Women Contemplating Abortion
- What happened to Roanoke's Lost Colony? New clues cast a mysterious light on an old legend
- Fr Paul Schenck: Immaculate Conception Tells us Who Mary Is and Who We Are
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?