June 13, 2013 | 54 comments
June 11, 2013 | 214 comments
June 6, 2013 | 91 comments
June 4, 2013 | 55 comments
May 30, 2013 | 119 comments
Reagan’s Supreme Court nominee: The Constitution and the savage attack that made his name a verb.
(Page 3 of 4)
Only days ago the withdrawal of UN Ambassador Susan Rice as a potential Obama nominee for Secretary of State drew outraged cries from supporters that the Ambassador had been “borked.” If so, it is a classic example of what goes round, comes round.
While there are many who believe the fact that Judge Bork never served on the Supreme Court was a miscarriage of justice, Bork himself soon turned his powerful intellect to writing. And in one particular book he zeroed in on as what many had seen as a growing problem in America but one that had not been clearly articulated. The publication of Judge Bork’s The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of The Law gave us not only a bestseller, but a landmark book on the infiltration of politics into areas of American life that once were seemingly immune to politics. Wrote Bork:
In the past few decades, American institutions have struggled with the temptations of politics. Professions and academic disciplines that once possessed a life and structure of their own have steadily succumbed, in some cases almost entirely, to the belief that nothing matters beyond politically desirable results, however achieved. In this quest, politics invariably tries to dominate another discipline, to capture and use it for politics’ own purposes, while the second subject — law, religion, literature, economics, science, journalism, or whatever — struggles to retain its independence. But retaining a separate identity and integrity becomes increasingly difficult as more and more areas of our culture, including the life of the intellect, perhaps especially the life of the intellect, become politicized. It is coming to be denied that anything counts, not logic, not objectivity, not even intellectual honesty, that stands in the way of the “correct” political outcome.
So wrote Robert Bork in 1990.
By 2012, this trend has become a cultural virus of sorts. Nowhere more exemplified than in the mainstream media, whose affections for President Obama were not reserved for the opinion pages but flooded the hard news stories — or not, if in fact the story involved something unfavorable to the President.
In fact, the story of my own denomination’s letter on Judge Bork’s nomination was a perfect example of the domination of a religious faith by politics. While the UCC no longer gets formally involved in Supreme Court fights, it does indeed leap with abandon into politics on all manner of other issues.
But it was how this “temptation” had affected the law that was, quite naturally, Judge Bork’s first concern.
In a precise and thorough style, Bork grappled in his book with the infection of politics in relation not only to the Supreme Court but how it had infected the law in relation to everything from race to private property and free enterprise.
In particular, there was a lengthy discussion of how the liberal drive to use politics to run the courts had resulted in the horrific 1857 decision of the Supreme Court on slavery. Known in legalese as Dred Scott v. Sanford.
Bork, accused of being a racist in an abominable untruth, was deadly in his examination of the role liberalism had played in trying to write slavery into the Constitution forever.
Taney, he wrote of Democrat Andrew Jackson’s Court appointee, the slave-owning Chief Justice Roger Taney, used the Dred Scott case (the case of a slave suing for his freedom because he was “taken by his owner into the free state of Illinois and then to federal territory where slavery had been forbidden by the Missouri Compromise”) as the chance “to make his resentments and his adherence to the cause of the slave states into constitutional law.”
In other words, what Taney was doing with race all the way back in 1857 is what modern liberal court activists now do routinely in all manner of cases dealing with all manner of issues. Meaning: Taney wasn’t following the law, he was giving vent to his personal politics.
This is the argument conservative jurists have taken on repeatedly since Robert Bork was rejected for the Court. And in fact, even before.
There is an irony here with Bork.
Reagan’s first three Supreme Court nominations went to the first woman nominee, Sandra Day O’Connor, followed by moving Justice William Rehnquist into the Chief’s spot on the retirement of Warren Burger, and Antonin Scalia into Rehnquist’s Associate Justice position.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?