John Gizzi: Judge Barrett to Be Biggest Battle Since Robert Bork in 1987

With the president’s expected announcement Saturday he will name U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Any Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the stage is set for what observers on all sides agree will be a battle royale — in the upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, on radio and television, and on social media.

The Barrett nomination, in fact, could be the most ideologically incendiary fight over a Supreme Court nominee since former President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of the late Judge Robert Bork in 1987.

(Where nomination fights over Justices Clarence Thomas in 1991 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 focused on personal incidents in the past of both candidates, Bork’s confirmation was almost exclusively about his writings and conservative philosophy; in the end, he was rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate).

“I worked on the Bork nomination in the White House and recalled being so impressed by his official biography,” Jeffrey Lord, onetime Reagan White House staffer and contributing editor to “American Spectator,” told Newsmax. “But I quickly realized this will have nothing to do with his confirmation. Instead, we were up against Gregory Peck!”

Lord was referring to the Oscar-winning actor narrating TV commercials for the leftist People for the American Way which condemned Bork for wanted to overturn Supreme Court decisions on civil rights and abortion.

But, he quickly added, “this was an entirely different time. Conservatives didn’t have Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, or Fox News, or the various websites. In the case of Judge Barrett, we’ll be able to hit back — hard.”

Sensing Democratic senators would attack Barrett’s statements that precedent was not sacrosanct (a hint she would overturn the pro-choice “Roe V. Wade” ruling of 1973), groups such as the Catholic Association, the Catholic Vote, and the Susan B. Anthony List issued statements focusing on her credentials as an academic and independent jurist.

The same groups are likely to launch Independent media expenditures urging confirmation of Barrett.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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