Retired judge, former U.S. Solicitor General, and one time U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork opines here on the current state of SCOTUS and on replacing retiring justices.
Of course, the verb bork is derived from the unprecedented campaign of personal and political defamation carried out in 1987 by liberals that culminated in Bork’s defeat at the hands of the U.S. Senate. Bork’s lynching by well funded liberal forces caught the Reagan administration off guard and raised the politicization of federal judicial nominations to an unprecedented level.
Many see Bork’s failure to be confirmed as justification for ignoring anything he says. However, Bork’s qualifications and thinking skills far exceed those of 99.5% of his critics. Bork provides a provocative analysis that is particularly interesting for conservatives and explains why it is imperative to appoint justices that “have so firm an understanding of the judicial function that they will not drift left once on the bench.”
Bork rips on elitist justices that have long been interpreting law with little connection to the Constitution, calling their rulings “vaporings.” He says, “Once the justices depart, as most of them have, from the original understanding of the principles of the Constitution, they lack any guidance other than their own attempts at moral philosophy, a task for which they have not even minimal skills.”
Bork particularly dwells on the court’s steady slide toward individual autonomy and separation from social responsibility. He warns, “In its insistence on radical personal autonomy, the court assaults what remains of our stock of common moral beliefs. That is all the more insidious because the public and the media take these spurious constitutional rulings as not merely legal conclusions but moral teachings supposedly incarnate in our most sacred civic document.”
While I’m not sure the public is so easily duped into accepting the court’s rulings as definitions of morality, the court’s moral definitions are implemented as public policy and have far reaching effect.
LDS Church Apostle, Elder L. Tom Perry recently commented on societies that “are becoming so secular in their beliefs and actions that they reason that a human being has total autonomy.” He says, “Societies in which this secular lifestyle takes root have a deep spiritual and moral price to pay.”
I am certain that those that support the court’s continual departure from morality have little concern for or worry about Elder Perry’s warnings. However, the proliferation of these attitudes and policies in our society will come with a price that must unavoidably be paid. While I’m sure that liberals and relativists are unconcerned, we will eventually be unable to implement sufficient social programs to circumvent the serious social ills that will befall us. The cost will be enormous. Check out western Europe, for example.
Bork concludes that it will require at least three appointments of strict constructionists to halt the court’s downward spiral. He argues that each nomination will be worth the fight, saying, “The stakes are the legitimate scope of self-government and an end to judicially imposed moral disorder.”