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Reagan Says He'd Welcome Senate Vote on Bork This Week

October 12, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — President Reagan today invited the Senate to vote this week on the doomed nomination of Robert H. Bork to the Supreme Court as he readied a last-ditch bid to derive some political benefit from a damaging defeat.

Senate leaders hoped to begin debate as early as Tuesday on the nomination for which Bork decided last week to fight to the bitter end--even in the face of rejection--as a matter of judicial principle and personal integrity.

White House officials embraced Bork's decision as an opportunity to use the floor debate to denounce the tactics used against him as a politicization of the confirmation process.

Returning to the White House from Camp David after a weekend that saw his advisers map strategy for the last act of the Bork drama, Reagan was asked if he would like to see a final vote this week and replied, "Yeah, sure."

The White House appears content to see the drama played to a conclusion on the Senate floor without Reagan lobbying in vain for a lost cause.

"It will be a dignified group of events, as opposed to a full-scale, campaign-style effort," White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said today. "The floor is where we want to make the points about the confirmation process and the tactics that were used to oppose Bork."

Reagan will raise the issue Tuesday on a visit to New Jersey.

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