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Friday, October 28, 2011

Anniversary of Borking

Some archeologist has looked at the current political nastiness and traced it back to the nomination of Federal Judge Robert Bork to the US Supreme Court. This is from New York Times columnist Joe Nocera.
The character assassination began the day Bork was nominated, when Ted Kennedy gave a fiery speech describing “Robert Bork’s America” as a place “in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters,” and so on. It continued until the day the nomination was voted down; one ad, for instance, claimed, absurdly, that Bork wanted to give “women workers the choice between sterilization and their job.”
On the other hand, the court has shifted notwithstanding the rejection of Judge Bork.  The Law of Unintended Consequences came into play.  The column goes on to say:
Today, of course, the court has a conservative majority, and liberal victories are, indeed, being overturned. Interestingly, [Clint] Bolick says Bork’s beliefs would have made him a restraining force. Theodore Olson, who served as solicitor general under George W. Bush, also pointed out that after Bork, nominees would scarcely acknowledge that they had rich and nuanced judicial philosophies for fear of giving ammunition to the other side. Those philosophies would be unveiled only after they were on the court.
We shouldn't fool ourselves.  Two hundred years ago politics was nasty in these United States.  Then we had one political party collapse.  Then we had a new political party emerge and then several of the states not only walked away, but fired on the Union.  We know how that came out.

Regards  —  Cliff

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