WASHINGTON — Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a leading conservative supporter of Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork, said today that four members of a 15-person American Bar Assn. panel were "willing to play politics" in voting him unqualified for the high court.
The ABA panel Wednesday gave Bork its top rating of "well qualified," but four members reportedly found him "not qualified" and another chose the middle ground of "not opposed."
"I've been through this (ABA recommendations process) for 11 years, and I've seldom seen this without politics entering in," the Utah Republican told a news conference.
Hatch said he saw no basis for any panel member to criticize Bork on his record, and concluded that the opposition was based solely on his ideology.
"Four of them are willing to play politics," Hatch said.