Robert Bork is dead and why it is good he was never on the Court
A few years ago I read a book about Judge Robert Bork, a man that then President Ronald Reagen nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. At the time of the nomination I was still a little young to follow this event, but I am so glad that Bork never made it onto the U.S. Supreme Court. I say this because this Thursday, Judge Robert Bork (who was a lower level federal judge) died. Whenever someone dies, it seems to be a time to review their history and their politics.
I might agree with most of what they had said, such as the atheist, writer and speaker Christopher Hitchens or disagreed with literally everything they ever said or wrote, such as Judge Bork. Robert Bork, even twenty plus years after the Civil Rights Era, believed that it was perfectly within the right of state governments to enact segreation laws, if they so choose. He not only thought it was fine for the government to ban what he perceived as obscenity, but was an eager supporter of those kinds of laws.
The reason we have a Bill of Rights, is to protect us against people like Judge Bork. Men and women like Bork are the type of people who believe that we as Americans have a very limited degree of liberty and rights. They believe that if a right isn't explicit in the Constitution, then it doesn't exist. This of course ignores the 9th Amendment which guarantees rights not already previously listed in the Bill of Rights.
By the way, some Founders opposed a Bill of Rights, not because they opposed necessary a list of rights for Americans, but they realized that people like Robert Bork would come around and state that if a right isn't explictly listed, then it doesn't exist for Americans.
Judge Bork worked for what he perceived as the best for his fellow Americans, but his whole judicial thinking was flawed from the start. He was an authoritarian, who while defending what he perceived as the original intent of the Founders, ignored what the Constitution was really about. It's about liberty unless there is an overiding government interest, not liberty unless the government allows you.