President Ronald Reagan nominates conservative jurist Robert Bork to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell. Liberals fight this nomination, not on the basis of ethics or misconduct as in previous nomination battles, but purely on the basis of ideology.
According to liberal critics of Bork, he is much, much too far to the right ideologically to be an acceptable candidate, no matter what his experience and scholarship are.
Robert H. Bork has, for example, denounced Civil Rights laws requiring businesses to serve all customers regardless of race and the "one person, one vote" decisions which struck down poll taxes. He advocates censorship of sexually explicit speech but protection for speech advocating the overthrow of the government.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts says:
"Bork's rigid ideology will tip the scales of justice against the kind of country America is and ought to be.
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, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens."
In October, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote 9 to 5 against the nomination and the entire Senate later does the same.