Despite a Failed Nomination, Robert Bork’s Legacy Lives On at the Supreme Court
There are few personalities in the legal profession that are divisive as Robert Bork. And, while his name has not often come up this election cycle, his legacy with the Supreme Court and possibility that his vision will shape its future deserves to be discussed.
Bork, who currently serves as the chairman of Mitt Romney’s Justice Advisory Committee, built a career on divisive partisan politics, beginning in 1973 when, as solicitor general, he fired Archibald Cox as special prosecutor to facilitate Richard Nixon’s attempted coverup of the Watergate scandal. In 1987, then - president Ronald Reagan nominated Bork to the Supreme Court. Bork’s nomination went down in flames as the Senate rejected him by a vote of 58 to 42, the largest margin in American history.
Bork’s candidacy was largely rejected because of his strong opposition to civil rights and women’s reproductive freedoms. Bork flat - out rejects the idea of a constitutional right to privacy, believes both Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade were wrongly decided and thinks there is no such thing as gender discrimination under the law. While those views are what tanked his nomination, they’ve managed to find a place in the jurisprudence of the high court still, proving the tenacity of the Bork legacy.