Kagan Praises Bork. Bork, Won’t Return the Favor

Jun 21, 2010 1:24pm

ABC News' Ariane de Vogue reports:

In 1995, Elena Kagan wrote a law review article praising a judge who many believe is her ideological opposite: Robert Bork. Bork was nominated for the Supreme Court in 1987 by Ronald Reagan, but his nomination failed after contentious confirmation hearings.

In the article, Kagan wrote that Bork’s hearing should be a “model” for all others, because even though it ended in the candidate's rejection, the hearings presented an opportunity for the Senate and the nominee to engage on controversial issues and educate the public.

"Not since Bork," she said, "has any nominee candidly discussed, or felt a need to discuss, his or her views and philosophy."

"The debate focused not on trivialities," she wrote, but on essentials: "the understanding of the Constitution that the nominee would carry with him to the Court."

On Wednesday, Judge Bork will hold a press conference, and he will not return the praise. He is expected to announce his opposition to Kagan’s nomination for the Supreme Court.

Appearing at an event sponsored by Americans United for Life, Bork will take exception, among other things, with Kagan’s one time praise for Judge Aharon Barak, the retired Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of Israel.

In 2006 Kagan praised Barak at an event in Harvard. She called Barak “my judicial hero,” and said, “He is the judge who has best advanced democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and justice.”

Bork has written critically of Barak who he believes is a judicial activist: "Barak celebrates the growth in virtually all Western nations of judicial power at the expense of other governmental and private institutions.”

The issue is sure to come up at Kagan’s confirmation hearings that are currently scheduled to begin one week from today.

– Ariane de Vogue

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