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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Robert Bork: Mitt Romney’s Corporate-Power Tool

The last thing America needs is more Supreme Court justices who think that corporations can do no wrong. We’re still reeling from the misdeeds of AIG and Wall Street, BP Oil, Massey Coal, JP Morgan and Haliburton–just a few of the corporations that have recently inflicted terrible losses on families across America and society as a whole after capturing regulatory agencies, corrupting public officials, and flouting the law.

But the Roberts Court majority sees no evil, handing out victories by the bushel to big business. Without even being asked to do so, five Justices in 2010 overrode their colleagues in the Citizens United case and bestowed upon the CEOs the power to spend trillions of dollars from corporate treasuries promoting compliant politicians to the public in campaign season.

Yet, just when it looked like things couldn’t get any worse, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney selected as his top legal adviser Robert Bork, a conservative polemicist whose career has been devoted to the proposition that corporations can basically do no wrong, the courts should faithfully serve the corporate agenda, and democratic government should step out of the way.

While Bork is an authoritarian statist when it comes to the rights of individual Americans to obtain birth control or read books, have sex or watch movies that Bork disapproves of (see “Borking America: What Robert Bork Will Mean for the Supreme Court and American Justice“), he is a laissez-faire libertarian when it comes to the rights of large corporations to ditch environmental regulation, fire pro-union workers and generally have their way with the rest of us without regulatory restraint. He seeks hierarchical discipline for natural persons but maximum freedom for big businesses to merge with one another, purge their workers, and splurge on pet politicians.

The key to seeing what Bork’s hand-picked judges would do on the bench is analyzing Bork’s own record as a judge on the United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia.

In August 1987, during the controversy over President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Judge Bork to the United States Supreme Court, the Public Citizen Litigation Group published an exhaustive and devastating report on Bork’s record as a judge.

The authors could find no “consistent application of judicial restraint or any other judicial philosophy” in Bork’s work on the Court. Rather, by focusing on split decisions, where judicial ideology is made most plain, Public Citizen found that “one can predict [Judge Bork’s] vote with almost complete accuracy simply by identifying the parties in the case.”

When the government litigated against a business corporation, Judge Bork voted for the business interest 100% of the time. However, when government acted in the interest of corporations and was challenged for it in court by workers, environmentalists and consumers, Bork voted nearly 100% of the time for the government.

Thus, what we can think of as the Bork Rule, a rule that now suffuses conservative judicial activism: Corporations over government, corporate government over people.

In the crucial field of administrative law, for example, Judge Bork “adhered to an extreme form of judicial ‘restraint’ if the case was brought by public interest organizations against a government regulation or policy. His vote favored the government in every one of the split decisions in which public interest organizations challenged regulations issued by federal agencies.” In these cases, Judge Bork defended, for example, the Reagan administration’s corporate-friendly rules relating to the environment, the regulation of carcinogenic colors in food, drugs and cosmetics, and the regulation of companies with television and radio licenses, as well as privacy rules in family planning clinics. Bork tends to vote to uphold government policy when corporations like it and consumers, environmentalists, and workers are on the other side.

In the eight split decisions where a corporate interest challenged the government’s regulatory policy or ruling, Judge Bork voted straight down the line against the government and for business–every single time.

What the Bork Rule means is that there is no formal integrity to his legal reasoning. The way to figure out who is going to win in a case is simply by identifying the parties. The reasoning flows out of his choice of favorites appearing before him, and this is a style of judging that is now pervasive throughout the federal circuit courts.

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • bcarreiro

    stop the write offs that the taxpayers pay for and donating means you dont get half back the following year.

  • Regulations were put in place to prevent, or at least limit, the destruction of our environment, to provide a safe work environment, and fair remuneration for workers. Before those regulations were put in place private industry polluted our lakes, rivers (think Allied Chemicals kepone dumping), polluted the air, destroyed forests, did not take precautions to protect workers, and paid people as little as they could for their work. Regulation has had a positive impact on the preservation of our patrimony, and the well being of American workers, but judging by what happened in recent years, including ENRON, AIG, JP Morgan, Bernie Madoff and all the other contributors to the economic malaise we are still experiencing, it is evident that more needs to be done. Letting corporations and Wall Street do whatever they want on the false pretense that they can police themselves is naive and irresponsible. One thing is to advocate more effective regulation to ensure our ability to be competitive and innovative is not adversely affected, but letting greedy and unscrupulous businessmen do as they please is the last thing we should do.

    • onedonewong

      All of those “regulations” were put in place by unelected bureaucrats. Just like the SS in germany

      • dggrundhoffer

        President Bush allowed his special interest corporations to influence those regulations. look at the public record

      • jebediah123

        “Onedonewong”—-You’re just the guy I’d been waiting to meet!! Someone who completely disdains those silly and c umbersome federal government regulations.

        I’ve got these two 55 gallon drums filled with used motor oil that I saved over the years from changing oil in my cars and trucks. I was planning on selling to some company but that requires some difficult verification and paper work. Do you live in or near the open country? I could dump these barrels on your property (I’m sure they wouldn’t do any harm) and I wouldn’t have to mess with any government regulations.

        I’ll even give you $20 for your trouble.

  • howa4x

    These are the reasons Judge Bork was not confirmed by the Senate. He was way too extreme to sit on the bench. He is to the right of Scalia. Romney will pick someone like him to sit on the bench as an appeasment to the right wing of the party. This is the prime reason why we shouldn’t elect Romney and not give him a chance to tip the balance for our lifetime, since Justice Ginsberg’s health is an issue

    • dggrundhoffer

      You are right on. There are issues that some people overlook. Good rational reasoning. Way to go!!!

  • dggrundhoffer

    They are letting the election be bought. Some people only think of themself. Greed is their main motive. Money,money , money , Me , Me , Me ,Me, . Romney is their ticket to riches that is why they are spending money on him

    • onedonewong

      Sounds like barak and the 47% who don’t pay any taxes

      • dggrundhoffer

        No!! I know I pay more taxes then most. Must be someone who on does not understand what Romeny -Ryan would bring if elected. More taxes for middle class and tax breaks for his rich cronies. and corporations who have outsourced jobs overseas. You might be ignorant but not all is lost. If you educate yourself, you will turn out just great. Good luck!!!

        • retiredforaliving

          Reading your post its obvious that you have never paid any taxes and are on the dole. Barak has outsourced more jobs than any president in our history ALLLLL with tax payer money. He has outsourced millions of jobs to China, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Iran , Syria, South Korea and Finland to name a few.
          Maybe if you turn off the State Run Media you can still save what brain you have left its a chance but no guarantee

          • dggrundhoffer

            President Obama is not a head of corporations. Companies outsource jobs. You need to go back to school. Your understanding of the issue is clouded by your age or ignorance or both. Presidents do not make make laws Congress does. Regulations are not done by the president. And according to Romney – Ryan you are on the public dole. Listen to the policies they advocate . Get your facts straight . Hope you get better!!!

      • dggrundhoffer

        You only have one thought . Work hard to have others friend.

  • onedonewong

    After Scalia Bork is the brightest legal mind this country has. Sodajerk, ginnesburg and kegan are better left to be doing traffic citations

    • Your decision to cite the three female Justices as inept says it all. Scalia’s opinions are worthy of a Mafia boss, and while Bork is, indeed, a very bright scholar his opinions are too extreme to suggest he would be an unbiased interpreter of the Constitution.

      • onedonewong

        Your the one that brought up gender, typical for a left wing nut that see’s the world based on groups rather than inclusion. Your a chip off the barak block.
        His views are extreme?? Yea staying true to the words of our founding fathers and the constitution sure is extreme

  • Dominick I think people forgot how poluted the US was and who was doing the damage and what party corrected and reinstated regulations on big company’s.

    • onedonewong

      and how many of the billions in the super fund was squandered on attorney’s fees


    Mitt Romney is rolling like that !!

    Remember the boss at work a real corporate jerk evil his personal invention
    Waiting in your office doorway the provocative words he would say with mean intentions
    Insinuating discriminating agitating are there any other words that I failed to mention
    All of his impurities blended with insecurities descending on ways to end your pension

    Mitt Romney is rolling like that !!

    Now focus on that scary feeling from the actions he is revealing shock waves of deceit
    Cold as a sliding glacier a wicked force of nature by any means necessary he will cheat
    Dealing from the bottom of the deck for a six figure pay check escaping the I.R.S.’S heat
    If you want something free vote for the other guy that is not me such demands I will not meet

    Mitt Romney is rolling like that !!

    Running a company dissolving American jobs what a white collar slob the CEO of Bain
    Outsourcing an occupation in his mind does not hinder our nation is he in sane ?
    Romney for president ending HUD destroying your residence hey Mitt stay in your lane
    His 4 years will bring America to tears selling us to his international peers for personal gain

    Mitt Romney is rolling like that !!

    Speaking at the NAACP bringing black republicans “please cheer for me” there’s one thing he missed
    Our people you should have greased their palms we will rat you out like a napalm bomb the ultimate diss
    Remember nothing is free didn’t you say ? even republicans are reacting to your ways trust is high on the list
    Running his mouth shouting in despair no empathy for you or America he does not care

    Mitt Romney is rolling like that !!

    People make an informed decision Mitt wants to cash in on the President’s work in progress and the Presidents vision while chilling under a Palm tree
    Depositing our dollars into Swiss all the current policies will be missed minorities roaming the land that use to be free like zombies
    Paralyzed in disbelief the American dream no way to achieve He is like a funeral parlor go ahead just embalm me
    The Debt ceiling will remain in the red vote for Mitt and live like the walking dead because Mitt Romney is rolling that !!!!!