Robert Bork, R.I.P.

Bork, whose failed nomination made history, dies – WZVN News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

MCLEAN, Va. (AP) – Robert H. Bork, who stepped in to fire the Watergate prosecutor at Richard Nixon’s behest and whose failed 1980s nomination to the Supreme Court helped draw the modern boundaries of cultural fights over abortion, civil rights and other issues, has died. He was 85.

I’m of two minds. Bork became a poster boy for liberal overreach, smear jobs, and dirty tricks, but in the end, I think liberty minded conservatives dodged a bullet in having his nomination to the Supreme Court derailed, in that Bork was famously antipathetic towards the individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment, not to mention having suspiciously statist views of the Constitution overall.

However, in all fairness, he may have altered that 2A position later in life. Many legal thinkers came to do exactly that, which was what created the climate for the Heller decision in the first place. OTOH, I don’t like enough of the rest of his judicial thinking to lead me to think he would have been a shining light for liberty on SCOTUS, given that he often appeared to hold the opinion that the Framers weren’t all that concerned with individual liberty either.

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

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