After Robert Bork's nomination as a Supreme Court justice, Sen. Ted Kennedy took the floor and declared:

Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy ... President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice.

What did he mean by the section in bold?

1 Answer 1


"Irangate" was the Iran-Contra scandal and "Watergate" was the Watergate scandal. Bork was nominated in the middle of Iran-Contra (which meant Reagan was weakened politically). Bork himself was involved in Watergate during the Saturday Night Massacre: Nixon ordered the independent prosecutor fired, the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General resigned instead of complying, and Bork (who was the number 3 person at the Justice Department) then complied with Nixon's order. Kennedy is saying that while Reagan is President, he shouldn't be able to ignore his own scandal and appoint someone involved in another scandal to reshape the country.

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