Former Solicitor General and failed Supreme Court Nominee Robert Bork opposes the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court because of her admiration for Aharon Barak, the former President of Israel’s Supreme Court. According to Bork, Kagan’s admiration for Barak is “disqualifying in and of itself” because, on the Israeli judicial spectrum, many of Barak’s decisions could be considered “activist.”
It does not take formal training in judicial logic to see the tremendous flaws in Bork’s guilt-by-association argument. Nonetheless, Aaron Zelinsky, Barak’s former clerk, has written a sharp rebuke of Bork’s textbook example of a flawed argument. The Orthodox Union has pushed back against Bork’s line of attack and JTA has posted a round-up of Bork’s previous attacks on Barak.
Bork, who was President Richard Nixon’s key ally in the Saturday Night Massacre, may very well have his ideological reasons for opposing Kagan. But using Barak—who has earned the praise of American conservative judges, including Justice Antonin Scalia—against Kagan is just another example of ridiculous conservative charges meant to derail President Barack Obama’s domestic agenda.
Bork’s unfounded criticism could possibly be more personal than anything else. Bork held the same job as Kagan, but he failed to be confirmed by the Senate when he was nominated for the Court (in part because of his role with Nixon). The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Bork’s fiercest opponent at the time was then-Senator Joe Biden (D-DE).
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