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Judiciary Committee Hearings on Judge Robert Bork

September 20, 1987

Distinguishing his past from his likely future, Bork has said to the Judiciary Committee, "In the classroom, nobody gets hurt. In a courtroom, somebody always gets hurt."

Is Prof. Bork for real? Every teacher has the power inadvertently or mischievously to do harm.

Is Judge Bork for real? Most people think of justice as trying one's best to undo harm.

His feeling of powerlessness is evident in his dismissal of any past judgment as "a pure professor's exercise." Those who can't hurt anybody teach, he thinks; those who can, judge.

Like the unreal (Assistant Secretary of State) Elliott Abrams and the unreal Lt. Col. Oliver North, Bork has sidled up to power--to money and the use of force--whenever he has seen a chance. But that is a weakness that neither reason nor politeness obliges us to promote in office.

ALEXANDER WELSH

Los Angeles

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