Robert Bork, scariest almost Supreme Court Justice, dead at 85

Robert Bork, the intensely conservative failed Supreme Court nominee from 1987, has passed away after a heart ailment. Bork was a sort of bogeyman from the right, destroyed by Joe Biden in the senate hearings for his nomination for being absolutely insane and who Mitt Romney made head of his judiciary appointments in an attempt to gain conservative credibility.

Thanks to the failure of the Bork nomination, we got Kennedy, who will occasionally vote in favor of things like equality and gay rights.  He is, in fact, our best hope that the court will overturn DOMA and Prop 8.  So, the borking of Robert Bork was quite fateful.

From my speech about the war on women earlier this year:

The Supreme Court has four justices over 70 and Mitt Romney’s chair of judiciary appointments is Robert Bork.

Robert Bork, the man Reagan failed to get on the Supreme Court 15 years ago.  Robert Bork who doesn’t believe in the right to contraception, much less abortion, who thinks discriminating against women is QUOTE “not possible”, who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  I know who I don’t want putting people on our already too anti-woman court.

The thing about Bork, though, is that he was very smart and very funny. I actually have a lot of respect for his intellect, but it’s hard to respect someone who fought for Nixon during Watergate and would repeal equal rights laws if he had the opportunity — and he very nearly did have the opportunity.

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Robert Bork, scariest almost Supreme Court Justice, dead at 85
Damien Marie AtHope: Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, and Activist

13 thoughts on “Robert Bork, scariest almost Supreme Court Justice, dead at 85

  1. 1

    I haven’t read much of Bork, but the part of Slouching Towards Gomorrah that I was able to get through before my head started to hurt indicated to me that he was smart in the same way that Buckley and Will have widely been held to be smart: they’re all articulate and prone to peppering their works with classical and historical allusions. None of these things have any bearing on their actual ability to analyze problems, acquire data about them, and apply that data creatively towards solutions, nor their ability to construct valid reality based arguments, etc. In other words, while they’re facile with words, I see no indication of serious thought occurring.

  2. 2

    smart in the same way that Buckley and Will have widely been held to be smart: they’re all articulate and prone to peppering their works with classical and historical allusions

    Yes, they’re a stupid/ignorant person’s idea of what a smart/educated person sounds like. They aped a wal-mart version of the mannerisms of the upper class.

  3. 3

    I first became aware of Bork because of the Saturday Night Massacre.

    Nixon was forced to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Watergate break-in. A Harvard law professor, Archibald Cox, was appointed. Cox issued a subpoena to Nixon for some of the infamous Oval Office tapes. After some legal maneuvering Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refused and resigned. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. He also refused and resigned.

    Nixon then ordered the Solicitor General, Robert Bork (as acting head of the Justice Department) to fire Cox. Both Richardson and Ruckelshaus had given personal assurances to the congressional oversight committee that they would not interfere, but Bork had not. Though Bork claims that he believed Nixon’s order to be valid and appropriate, he considered resigning to avoid being “perceived as a man who did the President’s bidding to save my job.” Nevertheless, having been brought to the White House by limousine and sworn in as Acting Attorney General, Bork wrote the letter firing Cox. Initially, the White House claimed to have fired Ruckelshaus, but as The Washington Post article written the next day pointed out, “The letter from the President to Bork also said Ruckelshaus resigned.”

    Both Congress and the American public were outraged. Calls for Nixon’s impeachment poured into Congress and the White House. Nixon was forced to appoint a new special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, who investigated more than just the Watergate burglary itself.

    Bork’s role in the Saturday Night Massacre was a factor in his failure to get Senate confirmation as a Supreme Court justice.

  4. 5

    I cheered when I saw that headline, this morning.

    Dancing on people’s graves is sort of tacky. But I will make exceptions for exceptional monsters like Bork.

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