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Bork Knows Everything?


This morning in The Corner, Peter Robinson writes: “Next week I’ll be shooting a couple of episodes of Uncommon Knowledge, one with Judge Robert Bork, another with Paul Johnson, the English historian. Within his field, each knows everything.” During his Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Bork revealed that there was one thing about which he knew nothing, The Ninth Amendment:

I do not think you can use the ninth amendment unless you know something of what it means. For example, if you had an amendment that says “Congress shall make no” and then there is an ink blot and you cannot read the rest of it and that is the only copy you have, I do not think the court can make up what might be under the ink blot if you cannot read it.

Years later, I was on a Federalist Society panel moderated by Judge Bork. During his introduction, he noted my books on the Ninth Amendment and remarked, “seems like something I should read.” Indeed. In your interview, Peter, you night ask him what he now thinks it means. If he says it refers to state statutory and common law rights (the answer he gave in The Tempting of America)—BUZZ—wrong answer. (The correct answer: natural “liberty” rights.)

Welcome to the sandbox. Wear sunscreen.


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