When lawyers must ask the jury of public opinion to ignore both the facts and the law on an issue, it demonstrates the paucity of their position. So it is with Profs. Alan Dershowitz and Robert Benson (Editorial Pages, July 2-3), in their arguments against Judge Bork's Supreme Court nomination.
Dershowitz from Harvard simply cannot give the "Yalie" his due. Bork was the hatchet man in the Saturday Night Massacre; that makes him "unconscionable." The fact Elliot Richardson told Bork to stay on and do the "dirty deed" is irrelevant. The fact Bork later succeeded in convincing President Nixon to appoint another special prosecutor (Leon Jaworski) doesn't count; rather it somehow demonstrates duplicity on Bork's part. So, ignore the facts and Bork fails Dershowitz's "character" test.
Benson from Loyola is honest enough to admit his criticism is blatantly cynical. Judges don't follow the law; they just bend it to conform to their own beliefs. It is therefore proper to object to Bork on the basis of pure partisan politics. The quality of the nominee's legal scholarship, which no one questions, is unimportant. So, ignore the law and Bork fails Benson's "ideology" test.
I, for one, am glad that Bork fails both tests. I am confident the more his opponents shout, the less they will be heard, and the more likely a man of impeccable integrity and sound legal reasoning will be appointed to our highest court.