Biden Takes Credit for Defeating Robert Bork's SCOTUS Appointment

Ted Kennedy would like to have a word

February 8, 2020

Former vice president Joe Biden took credit Friday for "almost single-handedly" blocking Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court.

"I almost single-handedly made sure that Robert Bork did not get on the Court because he did not think there should be enumerated rights. Let's get that straight," Biden said during Friday night's Democratic debate.

Biden ignored the central role disgraced Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy played in smearing Bork, and he insisted he was the reason why the right to an abortion was not taken away, thanks to defeating Bork's nomination.

"The only reason women have the right to choose is because it's determined that there are unenumerated rights coming from the Ninth Amendment in the Constitution," Biden said.

"We are not going to appoint anyone who did not have a view that unenumerated rights existed in the Constitution. That's not a specific test. That's a generic test," he added.

Kennedy famously sabotaged Robert Bork's nomination with his "Robert Bork's America" speech where he said Bork's presence on the Supreme Court would result in dystopia.

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions," Kennedy said on the Senate floor. "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."

Bork said when he met with Kennedy after the speech, Kennedy told him it was "nothing personal."

Kennedy's involvement in the Chappaquiddick scandal, which resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, devastated his aspirations to run for president, but he remained in the Senate. His successful smears against Bork even led to the term "bork" being coined to mean derailing a Supreme Court nomination.

Biden attempted to lead a similar attack on Clarence Thomas when he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush, but his efforts failed when Thomas was confirmed to sit on the Supreme Court.

In Friday's debate, Biden also took credit for the confirmations of liberal justices during the Clinton and Obama administrations.

"I was part of the reason why Elena Kagan, who worked for me, got on the Supreme Court," Biden said. "I was part of the reason why Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on the Court. I was part of the reason why Sotomayor was on the Court and she swore me in."