From a CNN interview this morning, guess who’s still got a chip on his shoulder?
KAGAN: Interesting person to talk to on the phone right now. Robert Bork on the phone, somebody who got almost to the Supreme Court. The judge nominated in 1987, a nomination that did not work out in the way that Judge Bork, I think, you would have liked.
Your comments today on Sandra Day O’Connor and her legacy on the court, please.
JUDGE ROBERT BORK, FMR. SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Well, she’s a very nice person, but she is as a justice, she has been they call her the swing vote. That’s true. But that means that she didn’t have any reaffirmed judicial philosophy.
However, on the crucial cultural question, she has lined up with the liberal side on abortion, on affirmative action, homosexual normalization and so forth.
KAGAN: Excuse me. Judge Bork, do you think it’s fair to say she didn’t have an judicial philosophy? Perhaps that she didn’t have the same judicial philosophy that you share. But she probably she possibly had a more moderate philosophy and was expressing that as a swing vote on the high court.
BORK: I think that referring to a moderate philosophy and a conservative philosophy and so forth is quite wrong. The question is, those judges who depart from the actual Constitution, and those who try to stick to the actual Constitution.
She departed from it frequently. So that I wouldn’t call that moderate. I would call it unfortunate.
So dissenting from the conservative view on abortion, affirmative action, and the like is tantamount to departing from the Constitution? I like this guy a lot better on the phone than on the bench. How do you feel about the justice who took your spot, Judge Crybaby?
KAGAN: A lot of people a lot of conservatives do wish that you had been confirmed and serving on the high court. Instead, it’s been Justice Kennedy, who has been more moderate than a lot of people think.
BORK: I wish you would stop using the word “moderate.” But go ahead.
KAGAN: Well, no. What would you use? How would you compare what Justice Kennedy has done instead of perhaps what you have done if you had been on the court.
BORK: I would call it activist.
Boo-frickin’-hoo. Any advice for a future nominee, Poopyhead?
BORK: I you know, they’re going to they’re going to insist upon answers to questions, “How will you vote on this? How will you vote on that?” Which I think is a very unfortunate practice, but that’s what they are doing now in the Senate.
KAGAN: So would you tell a nominee not to answer those questions?
BORK: Either to find a way not to answer it on the grounds that they shouldn’t be answered, or to give straightforward answers, which will mean that he will line up a lot of opposition.
Stonewalling on questions is one piece of advice that Bush judicial nominees don’t need, but thanks anyways. Dust off those anti-coathanger signs folks, you’re gonna need them.
1 : You can see my take on the “moderate” issue here.