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Coretta King, Gephardt Call for Rejection of Bork

July 06, 1987|United Press International

NEW YORK — Civil rights activist Coretta Scott King and presidential candidate Richard A. Gephardt added their voices today to a call by the head of the NAACP for derailment of Judge Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court.

The two, addressing the 78th annual conference of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, criticized Bork for what they characterized as a weak record of support for civil rights.

"We must let our senators know that a vote against Mr. Bork is a prerequisite for our vote in the next election," Martin Luther King's widow said to loud applause.

Gephardt, a Democratic congressman from Missouri who is seeking his party's nomination in the 1988 presidential sweepstakes, received a polite but subdued reception.

"Robert Bork opposes affirmative action," Gephardt said. "I say that a man who opposes affirmative action for deserving candidates does not deserve to be a nominee to the Supreme Court."

Noting that Bork also once opposed the law that opened public accommodations to blacks, Gephardt said, "If Robert Bork refuses to find room at the inn for the black citizens of this nation, then the citizens of this nation should refuse to find room for Robert Bork at the Supreme Court."

In his opening speech to the conference on Sunday, NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Hooks denounced Bork's nomination as a threat to civil rights.

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