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Bork Borks Over Barak

Kagan had praised controversial Israeli chief justice

Marc Tracy
June 24, 2010
Robert Bork.(Wikipedia)
Robert Bork.(Wikipedia)

Who better to bork a U.S. Supreme Court nominee than Robert Bork? The conservative judge called for the U.S. Senate to reject Elena Kagan’s nomination to the bench on the grounds of her prior praise for Aharon Barak, the onetime chief justice of the Israeli Supreme Court whom conservatives disparage for his judicial activism. In a conference call organized by the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life, Bork yesterday called Barak “the worst judge on the planet” and said that Kagan’s past stance on him—introducing him at an event, she called him “my judicial hero”—is “disqualifying in and of itself.”

The Orthodox Union’s political maven Nathan Diament offered a different take in an email blast: “It is certainly true,” he wrote,

that Chief Justice Barak was a proud and aggressive judicial activist who led the Israeli Supreme Court into making decisions many questioned—and we were among the many doing so.

But it is also true that Kagan praised Barak in the course of introducing him to an audience at the Harvard Law School—when she was Dean—isn’t that typical social convention? Event [sic] current U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia did the same for Justice Barak.

On a related note, want to read every email Kagan received while she was working in the White House in 1999? Of course you do! Check out Elena’s Inbox.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.