Friday, June 25, 2010
Elena Kagan (that's her on the left), President Obama's current nominee to become an Associate justice on the U. S. Supreme Court, was criticized by Robert Bork for her admiration of the Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court, Aharon Barak. According to Bork, Aharon Barak is "the poster child for judicial activism." "...Barak is not shy about what he is doing—he has openly said that he believes his job is not interpreting Israeli law, but doing 'justice' and advancing democracy, despite his lack of any constitutional warrant."
Of course, had Robert Bork been more into judicial activism instead of defending his strict judicial philosophy of originalism when nominated by President Reagan in 1987, he might have spent the last 23 years sitting on that same high court, and the country would be better for it. Bork, though, was and is a man of principle, so he refused to compromise his principles before the senate judiciary committee, but even before the senate hearing the well had been poisoned by, among others, Ted Kennedy in what became known as the most scandalous (and libelous) televised speech ever delivered on the senate floor. Here's a sample of Kennedy's speech:
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens."
John Yoo, law professor, author, and former justice department official in the George W. Bush administration, gives more details on the Bork criticism of Kagan in this post on The Enterprise Blog.