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Robert Bork

U.S. Federal Court judge, author of Slouching Toward Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline (1996) and others. Bork was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 after a record of careful observance of the law and the U.S. Constitution. A political campaign was mounted to frighten U.S. Senators from confirming Bork's nomination. Those behind the successful campaign feared that Bork would stall circumvention of long-standing law, and resist judge-made law such as 'affirmative action', unlike less-rigorous activist judges at the Supreme Court. Since this incident the word "borking," meaning discrediting someone with false accusations, has become part of colloquial speech.

Books by Robert Bork
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Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism & American Decline (1997)
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The Balance of Freedom: Political Economy, Law, & Learning (1995)
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If racial discrimination is to be tolerated whenever the government has some purpose in mind, however trivial the purpose and however attenuated the connection between the purpose and the discrimination, the courts will be in for some very ugly tasks.

Dec. 31, 1990 - from a column in National Review
Those who made and endorsed our Constitution knew man's nature, and it is to their ideas, rather than to the temptations of utopia, that we must ask that our judges adhere.

1989 - from The Tempting of America
In a constitutional democracy the moral content of law must be given by the morality of the framer or legislator, never by the morality of the judge.

1984 - in an essay for the American Enterprise Institute
When a judge goes beyond [his proper function] and reads entirely new values into the Constitution, values the framers and ratifiers did not put there, he deprives the people of their liberty. That liberty, which the Constitution clearly envisions, is the liberty of the people to set their own social agenda through the process of democracy.

1987 - from his opening remarks at the Senate review of his appointment to the Supreme Court
What we sense is that something has gone very wrong with America's moral and social infrastructure. Our real problem is the cultural revolution that swept America in the '60s. That is not to say that economic issues are not important, but that the cultural and social issues are far more important to Americans. We must re-fight the [cultural] battles we lost in the '60s. The counter-march will not be easy; but if conservatism is to live, we must do it.

Oct. 01, 1997 - from a speech to the International Conservative Congress in Washington
Classical liberalism has been so thoroughly defeated by modern liberalism's statism and its coercive homogenization of cultural life that even its name has been appropriated. "Liberal" once referred to a political tradition that honored individual liberty and a cultural ethos that allowed for the best that is known and thought to emerge from the free exchange of ideas. That kind of liberalism is today judged to be a marginal counterculture, especially in elite circles. Thus classical liberals - now known as conservatives - face an uphill battle in their struggle to preserve what is best in our inheritance.

Dec. 8, 1999 - from a review of Betrayal of Liberalism, Kramer and Kimball, editors, published in the Wall Street Journal
Our country is being radically altered, step by step, by Justices who are not following any law.

1996 - from Slouching Toward Gomorrah
The judge's authority derives entirely from the fact that he is applying the law and not his personal values. That is why the American public accepts the decisions of its courts, accepts even decisions that nullify the laws a majority of the electorate or their representatives voted for.

1987 - from his opening remarks at the Senate review of his appointment to the Supreme Court
[Writing about W.B. Yeats] He can hardly have had any conception of just how thoroughly things would fall apart as the center failed to hold in the last third of this century. He can hardly have foreseen that passionate intensity, uncoupled from morality, would shred the fabric of Western culture. The rough beast of decadence, a long time in gestation, having reached its maturity in the last three decades, now sends us slouching towards our new home, not Bethlehem but Gomorrah.

1996 - from Slouching Toward Gomorrah