The surprise resignation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell on June 26 gave the Regan administration the opportunity that pro-lifers have been hoping and praying for a chance to swing the Court towards a more constitutional jurisprudence, and a chance to overturn Roe v. Wade. Powell was the swing vote in a number of 5-4 decisions, for example, on abortion and religious liberty.
On July 1, President Reagan seized the opportunity and appointed Judge Robert H. Bork of the U.S. Court of Appeals, a man recognized by his peers as an outstanding expert in constitutional law. There was no surprise in his nomination for it was widely believed that he was the best possible choice. Predictably, because he is known not to be left-leaning, his nomination has caused outrage in the pro-abortion, anti-prayer-in-school faction, who have sworn to oppose his appointment.
As any one might have guessed it was Senator Edward Kennedy who scarcely waited to hear the announcement before taking the floor of the Senate to denounce the nomination.
“I oppose the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and I urge the Senate to reject it,” he said. “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, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protection of the individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy.”
There is a sick irony in the last phrases of his outburst for it was the same judiciary – “the only protector of individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy” – that in Roe v. Wade removed all “rights” from the unborn and passed the death warrant for the 20 million pre-born Americans killed by abortion since 1973.
Bork could well be the most important nomination of President Reagan’s political career, for this choice gives the first opportunity to begin the programme to save future generations of babies.