Rest in Peace, Judge Bork
December 23, 2012 1 Comment
This week we lost one of the great legal minds of our era. Yes, I’m referring to Robert Bork, who almost alone remembered what the federal judiciary used to be–the interpreter of the FOUNDER’S words. Here’s a bit more about him and the way he carried himself after Kennedy’s despicable slime attack. From Catholic Lane
On a dark February afternoon in 1988, 25 students in a U.S. Constitutional History class waited expectantly in a little-used dining hall on the campus ofGrove City College (in Grove City, Pennsylvania) for a special guest lecturer to arrive. I was the professor in charge of that class. Through the doors of that meeting place came Judge Robert Bork, failed Reagan nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Bork, our special visitor, was on campus to deliver, that evening, the first public lecture following his controversial confirmation hearings of some months before. He was escorted by Pittsburgh lawyer and college trustee, Richard G. Jewell. Judge Bork had graciously agreed to meet with the students, most of them pre-law, to answer questions about his view of the Constitution and about law in general. As he entered, the students stood and applauded, a reception that Bork had not received from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
He explained, to the GCC students assembled, his view of constitutional interpretation, which was a view held by most jurists until the impact of Progressivism and Legal Realism on the Court in the early 20th century. It was simple and straight forward. In interpreting a constitutional provision, one must be guided by the intent of the Founders or drafters. Judges should endeavor to determine, as best they could, what those who wrote the provisions intended to convey to future generations. Judges should not be activists, substituting their own views for those of the Founders. If the Constitution were to be deemed outmoded in some respect, it was up to the people and their representatives to use the amendment process to alter it. Changing its meaning was not the proper function of the judiciary. Bork was direct, clear and self-deprecating in that hour with GCC students.
That evening, before a packed basketball arena on the Grove City College campus, Bork spoke to a crowd of 2,500. He was introduced by a young lawyer from Pittsburgh who had escorted him earlier and was later to become the college’s eighth president, Richard G. Jewell. In introducing him, Jewell rehearsed Bork’s record of achievement as an undergrad at the University of Chicago and a law student a Yale, his years as a law professor, his work as Solicitor General, and his service on the D.C. Court of Appeals. When Bork rose to speak, he was greeted with loud and long applause.
Continue reading Robert Bork and Grove City College | Catholic Lane.
- Catholic convert Judge Robert Bork dies at 85 (ncregister.com)
- Whenever I saw him, Judge Robert Bork’s face radiated love, peace, and beauty (patheos.com)
- Robert Bork, Rest In Peace (humanevents.com)
- Robert Bork, R.I.P. (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
- Former judge, Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork dead at 85 (jurist.org)