The Judge and the Women

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Judge Robert Bork consented to an interview with Newsweek, largely about his role as a Romney legal adviser. But during the course of the discussion about the Obama record vis-à-vis judicial issues, Lloyd Grove asked him about women and the law:

How about the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment? Does he still think it shouldn’t apply to women?

“Yeah,” he answers. “I think I feel justified by the fact ever since then, the Equal Protection Clause kept expanding in ways that cannot be justified historically, grammatically, or any other way. Women are a majority of the population now—a majority in university classrooms and a majority in all kinds of contexts. It seems to me silly to say, ‘Gee, they’re discriminated against and we need to do something about it.’ They aren’t discriminated against anymore.”

His answer is not new and his point is clear (I worry about men these days). But in the face of a kerfuffle from predictable corners (some of it citing the unfair and misleading Wal-Mart class-action lawsuit that failed in the Supreme Court), Judge Bork adds in an e-mail to National Review Online:

Obviously there are individual cases of discrimination, but society and the law have shifted 180 degrees on this issue during my lifetime – and I think women have most doors open to them today.

That’s sensible. As Judge Bork long has been.

He’s never been a fan of radical feminism and its defenders are no fans of his. Thus some of the commentary over the last few days.

About this election, by the way, he says in that Newsweek interview:

Bork says he has known Romney, the on-and-off-again Republican frontrunner, for the past decade and supported his candidacy last time around as well as during the current race.

“I get an impression, a very strong impression, of competence,” Bork says, adding that “in addition to his undoubted skills as a businessman and a governor, Mr. Romney stands out as a leader.” Bork confides about his role in the campaign: “I’d like to be asked a question now and then for advice. But that’s about the extent of it.” As for his initial attraction to the former governor of Massachusetts, “The first thing that grabbed me about him is, he’s not Obama.”

Bork’s objection to President Obama?

“Aside from wrecking the economy and giving away a lot on foreign policy, I haven’t got any objections,” he retorts.

Any thoughts on Attorney General Eric Holder, who’s embroiled in a controversy involving gun-running, the Mexican drug cartels, and the murder of an American border patrol agent?

“If we’re talking about ‘Fast and Furious,’ my thoughts about that is, it’s utter incompetence—primarily of Holder but I wouldn’t put it past the president to have gotten involved,” Bork says. “At the very least, the consequences should involve Holder’s dismissal from office. There’s always a question about whether you exercise criminal jurisdiction over an executive-branch officer. But that means there’s all the more reason to dismiss him.”

What’s Bork’s take on Obama’s two Supreme Court appointments, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan?

“They are going to be activist justices,” he asserts, not without distaste. “I’d be more concerned if the other sitting justices were older. But they—the justices with whom I agree—are young enough to last into the administration that follows Obama. So it’s going to be more of the same. But that’s fine, because more of the same isn’t worse.”