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Senate Judiciary Committee Votes No on Judge Bork

October 12, 1987

David Broder makes an excellent point in his column ("Judicial Lynching, Left and Right," Op-Ed Page, Oct. 6) that Bork is the victim of a disturbing trend to use mass propaganda against the judiciary. But he is mistaken that the Bork case is similar to the removal of Rose Elizabeth Bird as chief justice of the California Supreme Court.

The difference is that Bird was appointed and confirmed and that she acted in the public arena for years before she was brought to ultimate justice on the basis of her record as a seated member of the court. She was not attacked with speculation as to what she might or might not do. That is the basis of the attack on Bork. Although Bork has an established record as an appeals court judge, he has been operating under previous decisions of the Supreme Court and we will not know how he will decide cases unless he gets a chance.

Broder is right that many of the strong opinions about Bork are the result of a "multimillion-dollar, mass-media and direct mail campaign." There is no doubt that the same tactics played a role in determining the margin of Bird's defeat. She, however, was unqualified when she was appointed and she was unqualified when she was turned out of office. Bird was judged on her record. Unless the mob that is lynching Bork is omniscient, it stands on far weaker ground than the voters of California.

REP. ROBERT E. BADHAM

R-Newport Beach

Washington, D.C.

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