Topic: Original Intent
In his 1990 book, The Tempting of America, page 10, Robert Bork predicted, "The liberal elites will not be satisfied with blocking the nomination of judges who may be expected to adhere to the historic principles of the Constitution. They intend to root that idea out of the intellectual life of the law, to make the philosophy of original understanding, and the associated idea of political neutrality in judging, disqualifying for the men and women who hold them." Like Bork himself, conservative nominees would be cast as "out of the mainstream." Bork called this "merely part of a larger war in our culture." He quotes Alasdair MacIntyre, saying, "Modern politics is civil war carried on by other means."
Patrick Leahy fired the first shot in the war on Meet the Press on July 11, declaring any nominee who held to original intent to be unacceptable.
Now the President has returned fire, delaring in his weekly radio address that he would seek a "fair-minded individual who represents the mainstream of American law and American values." His nominee "will meet the highest standards of intellect, character and ability and will pledge to faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our country."
What he means, in softened terms, is that he will appoint a justice who will uphold the Constitution, not add invention to it.
Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes