December 20, 2012 |
McLEAN, Va. - Robert H. Bork, 85, who stepped in to fire the Watergate prosecutor at Richard Nixon's behest and whose failed 1987 nomination to the Supreme Court helped draw the modern boundaries of cultural fights over abortion, civil rights and other issues, died Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Arlington, Va. Brilliant, blunt and piercingly witty, Robert Heron Bork had a long career in the law that took him from respected academic...
March 28, 2012 |
Somewhere along the line, the Supreme Court justices turned into media celebrities. As one of the three pillars of government, the court has always drawn attention and reaction. But this week has seen a nearly unprecedented media explosion in Washington - touched off not by a decision, but by the argument phase of the court challenge to the Affordable Care Act. That tells two tales: the huge significance of a decision that may affect not only the vexed one-sixth of the U.S. economy that is health care, but also the national election in November; and the mad proliferation of 24/7, voracious, instantly celebrifying media coverage.
January 8, 2012 |
Arlin Adams has had a front-row seat for much of modern American history. During 65 years as a respected federal appeals court judge, litigator, and, even at times, a political operative, Adams has had the ear of national leaders. For a time in the late 1960s, Adams was a protege of former President Richard Nixon, who put Adams on a short list for the U.S. Supreme Court, a seat that eventually went to William Rehnquist. He was close with former Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton and with Walter Annenberg, a confidant of Ronald Reagan who urged the president to nominate Adams for the Supreme Court when it became clear that Annenberg's preferred candidate, Robert Bork, had run into trouble during Senate confirmation hearings.
January 5, 2011
AS THE U.S. SENATE gavels in a new session today, it'll be the first in 30 years without Arlen Specter. It seems a good day to share some favorite Specter memories. This isn't about his legacy or unparalleled ability to be different things (Darlin' or Snarlin') to different people at different times. This is about, from a journalistic view, the joy of covering much of his career. From "borking" Bork to harassing Hill to his "not proven" vote on Clinton's impeachment, Arlen almost always managed to provide entertaining copy.
May 16, 2010 |
He has angered me, too. In my case, it was in 1987, when Arlen Specter was torpedoing the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork. I then believed Bork was qualified. At the time, Specter said he had "substantial doubt as to how [Bork] would apply fundamental principles of constitutional law. " I'm not alone. Over the years, Specter has upset just about everybody at one time or another. Conservatives have been angry about Specter's treatment of Bork, his "not proven" vote in the Clinton impeachment, and his support for stem cell research.
July 16, 2009 |
The last two times the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled a Supreme Court nominee, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania sat at the head of the long curved table and ran the show. When it was his turn yesterday to question Judge Sonia Sotomayor, though, Specter was seated at the far edge of things with the other most junior Democrats - just after Ted Kaufman of Delaware and just before Al Franken of Minnesota, the last in line. "It's a matter of what the senator says, not where the senator sits," Specter said in an interview.
January 21, 2006 |
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., in written responses to questions from Senate Democrats, said that most law-school professors were "generally believed" to be left of center, and that he had supported the failed nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court because of Bork's reputation for judicial restraint. Alito's answers, released yesterday by Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, added new detail and context to his testimony before the committee last week.
January 18, 2006 |
WHY DOES Samuel Alito appear to be coasting toward confirmation when Robert Bork, his ideological sibling, was denied a seat on the Supreme Court? Alito's bland face, thinning hair and glasses made him look like the nerd in the next cubicle in the office. He was soft-spoken, modest and calm in responding to senators. When asked the hard questions, Alito, like John Roberts before him, carefully recited the tests to be applied and the factors to be considered. But he gave no clues about his own views, or the legal framework within which he would weigh various factors, or the ideological prism through which he - like every other judge - approaches every case.
October 5, 2005 |
President Bush stepped to the plate Monday to nominate a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. He leads a party with 55 votes in the Senate and has just appointed to the Supreme Court a conservative chief justice widely hailed as one of the most qualified nominees in recent memory. The President swung and missed. His choice of his counsel, Harriet Miers, passes up a rare opportunity to change the direction of the Supreme Court. O'Connor provided decisive votes for affirmative action in colleges and universities, against bans on partial-birth abortion, against posting of the Ten Commandments in public spaces, and for the legal recognition of gay rights.
October 4, 2005 |
SO IT'S TIME for Round Two in Bush vs. Senate, otherwise known as "Advise and Consent. " With John Roberts now occupying the center chair on the high court, the nation turns its attention to Harriet Miers, the president's nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor and quite possibly shift the balance of power to the right. While the Roberts nomination was momentous, it was in many ways a symbolic flexing of the president's muscle. Roberts replaced William Rehnquist, an established conservative who, before Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas joined the court, was the liberal's Darth Vader, adjudicating from the dark side.