Conservative polemics concerning the Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)

Thumbnail Image
Weber, Thomas R.
Rouse, John E. (John Edward), 1942-
Issue Date
Thesis (B.?.)
Honors College
Other Identifiers

Robert H. Bork's nomination to the United States Supreme Court was rejected by the Senate on October 23, 1987. This paper seeks to identify the tactics and motivations of the people responsible for his defeat. Those involved include members of interest groups and the academic community, southern Democrats and moderate Republicans in the Senate, members of the White House staff and the President of the United States.Since the dynamics of the two prevailing judicial philosophies would take up considerable space to explain, for the purposes of this paper, a brief description of each theory should be sufficient. Within the context of this paper, a conservative will be regarded as someone who has an interpretivist (or strict constructionist) judicial philosophy. In other words, a conservative is someone who tries to understand the priniciples that the framers of the Constitution were trying to protect, and applies that principle to today's circumstances. Conversely, a liberal will be defined as someone who has a "noninterpretivist" (or activist) judicial philosophy. A liberal is someone who believes judges are not bound by the intent of the framers, but should seek to create new rights based on their own moral or philosophical views.Conservatives and liberals have fundamental disagreements over issues such as abortion, affirmative action, defandant's rights, the death penalty and the right to privacy. These disagreements were the basis of the dispute over the confirmation of Robert Bork.