Friday, December 21, 2012

Behind the Smears | Walter Olson | Cato Institute

Here’s something you may not know about the 1987 battle that kept Robert Bork off the Supreme Court: Opponents pursued a whispering campaign against him on the grounds that he wasn’t enough of a religious believer


Walter Olson is always worth reading. What happened to Bork and later to Justice Thomas made a deep impression on me. It was one of the reasons for my (over-determined) decision to leave the law firm I was at-- it was deeply involved in the campaign against Thomas, Anita Hill and that whole [seems like there should be a long German word for disgraceful, smelly mess]. I wonder whether not really believing in law, as in The Rule thereof, judges just following it, not making it up, if you don't like what the Constitution says, amend it, and so on, makes it easier to violate those rules ordinary people observe out of decency. Sort of an in for a penny, in for a pound approach to not taking those fusty old rules too seriously. Rules like, you can't lie about someone just because you oppose them politically, certain things are out of bounds, and so forth. I note that a miscreant reporter at TNR (I think) recently recalled how he, he! was the cub reporter who unearthed Bork's (remarkably tame as it turned out) record of movies rented from Blockbuster or wherever. Like it was something to be proud of. Because you know, it had to be done, to protect the right of privacy! Does being a conservative or libertarian mean there are all sorts of things you "can't" do because they are, you know, wrong, while being what is so inaccurately called "liberal" (the notoriously morally uptight Gladstone, now that was a liberal) means you can just do whatever the hell you want, however vile in the event, while at the same time wrapping yourself up in pious self-congratulation? I guess that's a rhetorical question.--ts

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Here's an interview where Judge Bork describes his conversion to Catholicism in 2003:

Posted by: Greg | Dec 22, 2012 12:40:47 PM