Joseph Biden headed the committee that borked Bork

VP Nominee Joseph Biden made Ronald Reagan sad by heading the judicial committee that rejected his Supreme Court nominee – Judge Robert H Bork.

Ronald Reagan said in defeat:

President Reagan, in a statement released by the White House, said, ”I am saddened and disappointed that the Senate has bowed today to a campaign of political pressure.” The Next Nominee? In the final hours of the three-day debate on the Senate floor, senators turned their attention to the next nominee for the vacancy on the court. The White House is not expected to name a new candidate before the middle of next week.

The President has publicly vowed to find a nominee who will upset Judge Bork’s opponents ”just as much” as Judge Bork himself. Mr. Reagan said today, ”My next nominee for the Court will share Judge Bork’s belief in judicial restraint – that a judge is bound by the Constitution to interpret laws, not make them.”

and here is Biden gloating about his victory:

Senator Biden repeated the statement with which he opened Judge Bork’s confirmation hearings last month, and which he has made a theme for the entire proceeding. ”I believe I have rights because I exist, in spite of my government, not because of my government,” he said. ”Judge Bork believes that rights flow from the majority, through the Constitution to individuals, a notion I reject.”

After the vote, Senator Biden said that although ”I enjoy winning,” this particular victory was ”less enjoyable than others, because we are talking about a man who had to sit home and listen to this, a fine man who just had a view of the Constitution that is out of touch with the 1980’s and 1990’s.”

The debate thus ended with Judge Bork’s supporters and opponents holding fundamentally irreconcilable views of what had gone wrong for the nominee. His supporters insisted that he had been misunderstood and mischaracterized, while his opponents maintained that he lost precisely because the senators and their constituents did understand his views, and rejected them.

These quotes are from an October 24, 1987 NY Times article Bork Nomination is Rejected, 58-42;Reagan saddened




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