By Gaetana Drake
It’s good to understand one of the most important reasons we should all vote and that is because the President of the United States nominates Supreme Court Justices. The Supreme Court makes decisions that effect our everyday lives.
Mitt Romney has chosen Robert Bork as co-chair of his Judicial Advisory Committee. This means Mr. Bork will be suggesting to Mr. Romney names of possible future Supreme Court Justices and federally appointed judges throughout the country. Mr. Bork was nominated by President Reagan to be a member of the Supreme Court, but the nomination was not approved.
Here are some of his beliefs:
In 1963 he wrote an article for The New Republic called “Civil Rights – A Challenge”. He claimed that laws requiring desegregation were a violation of the freedom of business owners to associate only with the people they chose. His argument was “the natural right not to associate with others in commerce should not be overridden in the interests of civil rights, social justice, or most significantly, the interests of the moral order.”
Republican led states are trying to impose severe voter restriction laws. Mr. Bork has a record of defending the constitutionality of poll taxes and literacy tests in state elections. Obviously, the right-wing believes he is the man they need to help restrict voters’ rights in America.
Mr. Bork also believes that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned. He would also give individual states the power to prosecute women and doctors who violate abortion laws. By using Mr. Bork as “judicial advisor”, it is obvious that any future Supreme Court nominee would have to pass the anti-choice litmus test. Mr. Bork has denounced the Supreme Court’s protection of a constitutional right to privacy in decision-making, the basis of Griswold v. Connecticut, which legalized a woman’s right to use birth control.
United States v. Virginia is the Supreme Court’s 7 – 1 decision which required the Virginia Military Institute to stop discriminating and to admit its first women cadets. Thousands and thousands of female soldiers have since served bravely and honorably, but Mr. Bork has attacked that decision for producing the “feminization of the military.” He wrote, “radical feminism, an increasingly powerful force across the full range of American institutions, overrode the Constitution in United States v. Virginia. VMI is only one example of a feminized Court transforming the Constitution.”
In 1971 Mr. Bork argued that the First Amendment protects only political speech, not art or science or literature. He continues to promote censorship to deal with what he calls the “rot and decadence” of American society. In a 1997 interview with Michael Cromartie, he expressed such disgust with the state of American culture that he said he was in favor of a return to censorship boards in America.
Rather than allow states to make their own decisions on the issue of same-sex marriage, he has advocated a constitutional amendment that would permanently define marriage as between “one man and one woman”. He would also prevent individual states from offering gay couples equal benefits of any kind.
In 2005 the Supreme Court decision in Roper v. Simmons, struck down the death penalty for juvenile offenders. Bork called the decision a “new low” for the Court. Between 1990 (when the Court last considered this issue) and 2005, there were only seven countries other than the United States that executed juvenile offenders. They were Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and China. Mr. Bork, however, found nothing cruel and unusual in executing minors.
And finally, Mr. Bork once ruled that an employer may require its female workers to be sterilized in order to reduce employer liability for harm to potential children, in cases where employers used toxic chemicals. He also believes politicians should be able to ban birth control.
Poll taxes, literacy tests, forced sterilization in order to maintain employment, executing minors, censorship boards, corporate powers over individual rights, repealing civil rights and making criminals out of doctors and women…..is Robert Bork right for America?