Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bork Slandered By Kennedy in Confirmation Hearing

The death of Judge Robert Bork was announced Wednesday.  He is perhaps best remembered for the brutal personal attacks he suffered during his appearance before the Senate Judicial Committee as part of the process for his Supreme Court nomination. For those of us old enough to remember this televised political lynching, it is an easy assessment to state that Ted Kennedy is responsible for today's brutal confirmation hearings. A man of low personal character himself, Kennedy was the logical water carrier for a well orchestrated Democratic opposition to any nominee put forward by President Reagan.

In the summer of 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Bork to sit on the Supreme Court. Just 45 minutes later, Senator Ted Kennedy took to the Senate floor to launch an attack not seen before in the nomination process. A bit of the slander and unfettered character assassination brought forward by Senator Ted Kennedy, during that speech appalled most decent human beings:
 '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 government and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.

Joe Biden was the chairman of the committee.  An admitted plagiarizer and consistently wrong on big issues, Biden took it upon himself to write a brief and present it to the committee.  Bork later described this in a book as "so thoroughly misrepresented a plain record that it easily qualifies as world class in the category of scurrility."  Hollywood actor Gregory Peck narrated a political ad using the slanderous Democratic narrative, too.  

The Reagan administration was slow to respond.  Too much time passed and the damage was done. The nomination was not successful.  Judge Bork, highly respected and eminently well qualified to serve on the nation's highest court was denied the position by raw politics. His crime? He was a solid conservative. Liberals in Washington were determined to keep the Supreme Court a liberal-leaning one.

Thus, the term "Borked" was born.  

Like the other atrocities credited to him, Ted Kennedy was never held accountable for this political nuclear attack.  Our nation is worse for that.

Rest in peace, Judge Bork.

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