As the United States mid-term elections loom, peruse Carl Sundell’s take on Robert Bork, who went through his own gruelling Kavanaugh-esdque process three decades ago, after being nominated to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in what seem like the far more innocent days of 1987. Unlike Kavanaugh, whose bid recently survived a similar process, by a scant 2 votes, Bork was, as the quasi-official verb now has it, ‘borked’, his nomination rejected 58 to 50, largely due to the same reasons as Kavanaugh’s: The Democrat-liberals feared a reversal of their coveted right to abortion enshrined in the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
They might have been right, for in Bork’s place the Senate approved unanimously (97 to 0) the subsequent Reagan appointee, Anthony Kennedy, who, far from overturning, reaffirmed in rather stark terms the right to abortion in the infamous 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, wherein he was the ‘swing’ vote in a 5-4 tally. The following strange quotation from Kennedy’s ‘opinion’ will go down in disgrace as one of the many key points in what may turn out to be the downfall of America, if anyone is left to look back historically:
At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life…. people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail…. We conclude the line should be drawn at viability, so that, before that time, the woman has a right to choose to terminate her pregnancy…. there is no line other than viability which is more workable. To be sure, as we have said, there may be some medical developments that affect the precise point of viability, but this is an imprecision within tolerable limits…. A husband has no enforceable right to require a wife to advise him before she exercises her personal choices.
This bizarre doctrine, demonstrating Kennedy’s (and so many others like him) tragic lack of philosophical and theological formation, and adherence to moral anarchy, would undermine all that we mean by ‘civilization’. It is ironic, for Bork was an atheist at the time of his proposed appointment, while Kennedy to this day professes to be a practising Catholic.
Odd also, for this opinion piece seems at odds with a phrase attributed to him a few months later, in October of that year:
We must never lose sight of the fact that the law has a moral foundation, and we must never fail to ask ourselves not only what the law is, but what the law should be.
The irony, even the hypocrisy, seems evident. Any ‘moral foundation’ worthy of the name would include prohibition of pre-born murder. Whose moral foundation is he considering? That of his near-namesake, Teddy Kennedy, also a self-professed Catholic, whose blistering critique of Senator Bork helped get him borked?
Alas, Ted Kennedy, the caddish coward of Chappaquiddick, has gone to whatever reward he merited, sent off after an eulogic Catholic funeral with all the fixings, where nary a word was spoken about the scandal he offered. We may just pray in our own quiet way that in some way unknown to us the Kennedy scion sought the mercy of God.
Here’s also hoping Justice Kennedy, whose retirement from the Supreme Court in the summer of this year left the space open for Brett Kavanaugh, uses his time to reflect upon his past decisions, to examine his conscience, before he has to face the Judge, to whom he, with us all, will have to give a rather severe reckoning.
As Professor Sundell points out, Bork soon after his ‘borking’ converted to Catholicism, helped along the way by his believing wife; he may have lost this seat on the court, but won his soul. Now we will wait and see whether Kavanaugh turns out to be another Kennedy, or the better, more noble, wise and prudent Supreme Court Justice that Bork might have been.