Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., likened the partisan attacks waged by Democrats on Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett to what took place during the confirmation hearing of former nominee Robert Bork.
Bork, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, was rejected by the Senate following a contentious confirmation process that led to the term “bork” being recognized in some dictionaries. Merriam-Webster defines it as “to attack or defeat (a nominee or candidate for public office) unfairly through an organized campaign of harsh public criticism or vilification.”
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“I think what we’ve seen today is an attempted borking of Judge Amy Barrett. The problem is they don’t have anything in your record that they could use to so badly misconstrue to suggest that you’re somehow going to fundamentally change America, that now they have to attribute to you the worst readings and most draconian misinterpretations of Justice Scalia.”
Throughout the hearing, Barrett has pointed out to senators that if she is confirmed, she would be Justice Barrett, not Justice Scalia, and that even though she shares the late justice’s judicial philosophy, she has not agreed with everything he has said, even when she clerked for him.
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Barrett has faced attacks from Democrats and in the media since her nomination was announced, including comparisons of her religious practices to the dystopian television series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and implications that her views on health care and abortion would set the country back decades.
Similarly, Bork found himself on the receiving end of attacks upon his nomination, such as a blistering tirade on the Senate floor from Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
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“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, and schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution,” Kennedy said. “Writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government.”