GOP is right: The parallels to the Bork case are uncanny!

robert-bork-obit

In an effort to justify their insistence that a Supreme Court vacancy be left open for more than a year, without a vote or hearing on a replacement, conservatives are calling up painful memories of what happened to the Supreme Court nomination of conservative jurist Robert Bork almost 30 years ago.

I can certainly see the parallels. In fact, they’re uncanny.

Bork, for example, received a full and lengthy examination of his judicial record and public writings. Even after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against his confirmation, the panel allowed the constitutional process to play out completely. At Bork’s request, it sent the nomination to the Senate floor, where it was debated and finally rejected by a vote of 58-42, the largest margin of defeat for a judicial nominee in the country’s history.

That’s exactly like the current case, in which the Senate refuses to even consider an Obama nominee, even without knowing who that nominee might be.

Likewise, the Senate vote against Bork was bipartisan, with six Republican senators agreeing that Bork was too far out of the legal mainstream and with two Democrats voting in favor of his confirmation. That’s exactly like the current case, in which — as we all know — the Republican refusal to act is motivated not at all by crass partisanship. In fact, it is divisive and hurts their feelings to even suggest such a thing.

But I’m going to suggest it anyway:  Yes, it is motivated by partisanship, and also by a deep Republican animus against the man twice elected by the American people to be their president. But again, the parallels with the Bork case are uncanny. Clearly, Democratic senators voted against Bork back in 1987 not because of Bork himself, but because they hated Ronald Reagan and wanted to make sure that the Gipper didn’t get to name another justice before his second term expired. This is just payback.

Of course, after rejecting Bork, that same Senate acted out its anger again by voting 97-0 to confirm another Supreme Court nominee by Reagan. That person, Justice Anthony Kennedy, was sworn into office on Feb. 18, 1988, 28 years ago to the day. In an election year.

In the Bork case, those who voted against his confirmation could cite multiple reasons for doing so. Bork believed that government’s power over the individual was so extensive that it could reach into the bedroom and ban the sale or use of contraceptives, even by married couples. He argued that people had only those rights that were explicitly granted to them by the government, in direct contradiction to the founding fathers who spoke and wrote often of natural rights and inalienable rights beyond those listed in the Bill of Rights.

Bork also believed that in its role as defender of the culture, government could censor viewpoints that it believed to be dangerous or corrosive to public morals. As he later explained in his book “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”, “Sooner or later censorship is going to have to be considered as popular culture continues to plunge to ever more sickening lows.” Bork specifically backed government censorship “starting with the obscene prose and pictures available on the Internet, motion pictures that are mere rhapsodies to violence, and the more degenerate lyrics of rap music.”

He wanted to give Congress the right to overrule court rulings it did not like. He had also opposed the Civil Rights Act, arguing that businesses that wanted to discriminate on the basis of race had every right to do so, and a law banning such discrimination was “a loss in a vital area of personal liberty,” He had argued in favor of allowing poll taxes — charging people for the right to vote. He dismissed the notion each person’s vote should be given equal weight, arguing that it was just fine if the “county unit system” in Georgia and other places gave rural voters 10 times the political power of voters in densely populated urban areas such as Atlanta.

Again, the parallels with the current situation are obvious. Just like Democrats did 29 years ago, Republicans are refusing to even allow a Senate hearing for a nominee — any nominee — because they already know that this unknown nominee’s unknown credentials, unknown judicial background and unknown legal theories are too far out of the American mainstream to even be heard, let alone voted upon.

 

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1314 comments
Octgal26
Octgal26

Once again Jay Bookman cherry picks his facts.  He doesn't mention that Obama participated in a filibuster in 2005 in a failed attempt to prevent a Senate vote on Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court.  If Obama had gotten his way there would have been no Senate vote.  He and most other Democrats also participated in numerous filibusters of Appeals Court appointees that never received a vote such as Miguel Estrada who would have been the first Hispanic appointment to the DC Circuit.  Finally, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer stated in a public speech during the summer of 2007, 18 months before the next election, that the Senate should not consider any Supreme Court nominees nominated by George W. Bush during the remainder of his term. 

Peachs
Peachs

These caucuses are so public, everybody knows who you vote for and pressure you.  This is not a good venture for Sanders who is by label a Socialist and I am sure that is a topic of disgrace in these gathering.  I look for him to do much better than expected in SC.

GwinnettDad1
GwinnettDad1

In 2007, Democratic Charles Schumer proclaimed that no SC appointee should be approved with 19 months left in W's term. There are 11 months left in Obama's term. Democrats agreed with Schumer in 2007. But now, hear them scream! Are there bigger hypocrites on the planet?

Peachs
Peachs

@honested @GwinnettDad1 the log jam in the Congress was the longest in the history of the country for federal judges ,of any description, to be approved, so while you are claiming the historic high ground explain that...

lvg
lvg

The Dollar General outsourcer the cons sent to Washington is commanding the President not perform his constitutional duties and select a nominee for SCOTUS. Maybe Obama should outsource the selection to the POPE.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@lvg No the President should nominate Eric Holder .and watch Mitch's head explode. But of course he would be approved by the Senate after some hand wringing and polling data from the Bald Stooge Karl Rove.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@consumedconsumer @Buschleaguer Like it really matters who is nominated. And Holder is way down on the list of the most progressive nominees that Obama can Nominate. Just threw Holder's name out for effect.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@consumedconsumer @Buschleaguer If McConnell had not shot off his mouth about not having hearings on a nominee then I would maybe agree with you. But our current President is less worried about getting a nominee confirmed ,than he is sticking it up McConnell's A$$.

He would like the confirmation hearings to extend past the 2016 election and use the issue for the political gain of his party.The GOP has played the issue as badly as they could. And don't be surprised if Obama makes a recess appointment if the issue is not settled by January of 2017.

lvg
lvg

@Buschleaguer @consumedconsumer I am concerned about giving Georgia 's Senators something they can stick where the sun doesn't shine. Perdue the bigot wouldn't even allow Dax Lopez to be interviewed for a federal judgeship. After his dufus cousin thre Governor picked him as a Republican for Dekalb position. Can't have no Hispanics on the Bench who try to assist indigent Latinos. How do you outsource a Senator?????????

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@Buschleaguer


imho it matters who is nominated. if Obama nominates someone who was rather recently approved to an appellate bench by near universal support (which is how things typically go after the GOP holds things up for a year or so), they will have a hard time justifying no hearing, no vote, or deciding en mass to oppose that person now. 


obama's not going to nominate a 'progressive'. 

stefpe
stefpe

@Kamchak Makes no sense to me. Offensive holding is a 10 yard penalty. Surely you don't want a center that gets flagged for holding all the time?

td1234
td1234

"Lombardi said that Pope-watchers know that Francis is always repeating that we should not build walls but bridges. “He repeats this over and over, constantly, and he has also said it many times regarding the issue of migration in Europe,” he said. “So it is not a specific issue, limited to this case” but part of his general attitude, consistent with “following the Gospel directives of welcome and solidarity.”

The spokesman also insisted that the Pope was not intending a personal judgment on Trump, or trying to tell Catholics how to vote at the upcoming election.

“This case drew a lot of attention,” Lombardi said, “but he never intended it to be in any way a personal attack or an instruction on how to vote. The Pope has made it clear that he would not meddle in the voting issues in the election campaign of the United States.”

The priest said that media reports often overlooked that the Pope had said that his words “depended on the accuracy and truth of what he had been told regarding the Republican candidate’s positions, thus also giving him the benefit of the doubt.”

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 

This is obvious if you read the entire quote.  Judging by his hyperbolic response, Trump did not bother to read the entire quote...

td1234
td1234

@Nick_Danger @td1234 Well then why did the left press take off and run with it so hard yesterday as an indictment of Trump? 

GwinnettDad1
GwinnettDad1

Look below for the liberal haters and their identity politics that rely upon racism to get their way. They cannot argue issues, So they dismiss by proclaiming racism when it is in fact facism.  

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Kamchak @GwinnettDad1 I thought Bernie was running as a Democratic Socialist. He does not despise democracy, he just despises Wall Street and most republicans.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Donnie_Pinko @GwinnettDad1 The most powerful word that any democrat (progressive) can say about their enemy. The word the GOP is afraid of ,and will bend over and take it ,to avoid being called "Racist".

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@GwinnettDad1

 they dismiss by proclaiming racism 

I must have missed the proclamation of racism in or around any of your posts.


Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@GwinnettDad1 

GDad is something of a one-trick pony, here.  He can call names, but has not much else to offer, it seems... 

BTW - is he saying, he's not a racist, he's a fascist?

Kamchak
Kamchak

@GwinnettDad1 

Still waiting for that proof that,"Democrats despise democray[sic] and prefer socialism", sport.

Just remindin'.

TBS
TBS

Well that's racist for you to ask that question

Can't you see what you are trying to do?

GDaddy can

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Donnie_Pinko @Buschleaguer @GwinnettDad1  How do you explain it then? The GOP has folded in every battle with this White House . The Administration will float the name of a person of color,and the media will take it from there. The GOP will vote to cover their rears to avoid any mention of the R word.

TBS
TBS

That's yuuuuge

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Donnie_Pinko

Only slightly less important "news" than the "pope doesn't like my classy wall idea!" business of yesteryore. 

gotalife
gotalife

After all the rw conspiracy hit jobs and fake scandals, she is crushing it and can't be stopped.


Hang it up cons.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@gotalife Hillary has never been stopped by the so called right wing conspiracy hit jobs. It is the left wing of her own party that has blocked her nomination. They supported Obama in '08 and they will not support her in 2016. If Comrade Sanders can stick around until the convention, look for the  progressives try to draft their favorite . Elizabeth "little Feather" Warren as an alternative to Clinton and Sanders.

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex NO, that is the radical press. The left press is NYTimes, Wash Post, ABC, NBC, CBS..., The far left is mentioned above. What you are talking about is radicals. 

TBS
TBS

Oh dear

When salon doesn't praise you it is best to just get out of the race

I always say pay attention to Salon.. as they go so does the country

What shall HC do now?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@TBS

Well not salon, but some guy at salon.

Which is good enough for me!

TBS
TBS

Good point but same holds true

HC may as well quit the race

She was dissed in a Salon article

It is all over but the crying from here on out

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 conservative classifications of things they don't understand always make me laugh. thanks. you didn't disappoint.