As we’ve explained previously, Mitt “Severe Conservative” Romney is demonstrating time and again that reactionary conservatives, not moderates, would be running the show if he were to be elected President. Today’s post focuses on Romney’s strong support for Robert Bork, the former federal judge and conservative activist whose 1987 nomination to the Supreme Court by President Reagan was rejected 58-42 by a bi-partisan coalition in the U.S. Senate because of his reactionary views about the Constitution, civil rights, and the role of the courts in protecting individual liberties. Since then, it has become clear that Bork’s views are even more reactionary than they appeared in 1987.
Romney made his support for Bork clear last summer, when he named Bork a co-chair of the campaign’s Justice Advisory Committee. That Committee was established to advise the campaign “on the Constitution, judicial matters, law enforcement, homeland security, and regulatory issues.” It is also clear that Romney’s appointment of Bork was not just a symbolic gesture, as Romney has stated that he wishes that Bork “were already on the Supreme Court.”
Bork claims to take an originalist approach to interpreting the Constitution. But in a new report titled Borking America, People for the American Way has documented how Bork’s real agenda is promoting the a reactionary right-wing agenda on a wide array of issues, including corporate power, reproductive freedom, civil rights, censorship, and the death penalty.
With Romney so willing to publicly support Bork, the important question is how much of Bork’s reactionary agenda does Romney agree with? For example:
* Does Romney agree with Bork that “Sooner or later, censorship is going to have to be considered as popular culture continues plunging to ever more sickening lows” source and that “Liberty in America can be enhanced by reinstating, legislatively, restraints upon the direction of our culture and morality”? Source
* Does Romney agree with Bork that “It is clear that mindless feminist ideology is inflicting enormous damage on the readiness and fighting capability of the armed forces of the United States”? Source
* Does Romney agree with Bork’s rejection of the Supreme Court’s decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which recognized a right to privacy and forbid states from outlawing the use of contraceptives, as an improper “Constitutional time bomb”? Source
* Does Romney agree with Bork that the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause should not extend to prevent gender discrimination but, instead “should be restricted to race and ethnicity because to go further would plunge the courts into making law without guidance from anything the ratifiers understood themselves to be doing.” Source
* Does Romney agree with Bork that the Equal Protection Clause does not need to protect women from discrimination because “It seems to me silly to say, ‘Gee, they’re discriminated against and we need to do something about it.’ They aren’t discriminated against anymore.” Source
* Does Romney share Bork’s support for a Constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to reverse Supreme Court decisions? Source
* Does Romney agree with Bork that the Supreme Court’s decision in Roper v. Simmons, which barred the death penalty for minors, was “lawless” and a “new low” for which there “are plenty of reasons to deplore”? source
The record shows that on issue after issue, Bork has been opposed and even downright hostile to the recognition of equality and individual liberty that is inherent in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The views espoused by Bork raise serious questions about why Romney would put Bork in charge of the campaign’s Justice Advisory Committee, much less desire to see Bork on the Supreme Court. Romney should be compelled to answer whether he agrees with each of the Bork statements identified above and, if Romney says he disagrees, he should be asked why he would want someone like Bork on the Supreme Court. Our nation has already faced the question of Bork on the Supreme Court once, and responded with a resounding no. There is no reason that Romney should be pushing that same extreme agenda again.