Monday, December 12, 2005

It Really Is Important

It really is important to avoid promoting bad people to high court positions, and it really can happen.  
Brad DeLong points to an article on Reason, which is about something that Robert Bork wrote recently.  
Sandwiched between Clint Bolick on school choice and Ward Connerly on colorblindness is Robert Bork on censorship. Just to be clear: He is for it.

"Liberty in America can be enhanced by reinstating, legislatively, restraints upon the direction of our culture and morality," writes the former appeals court judge, now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "Censorship as an enhancement of liberty may seem paradoxical. Yet it should be obvious, to all but dogmatic First Amendment absolutists, that people forced to live in an increasingly brutalized culture are, in a very real sense, not wholly free." Bork goes on to complain that "relations between the sexes are debased by pornography"; that "large parts of television are unwatchable"; that "motion pictures rely upon sex, gore, and pyrotechnics for the edification of the target audience of 14-year-olds"; and that "popular music hardly deserves the name of music."
DeLong and the author at Reason, Jacob Sullum, point out how paradoxical it is that Bork advocates censorship in the name of freedom.   I agree with that, but would like to add one more point.  The opinions expressed by Bork are so whacky, so incongruent with the Constitution, that it is hard to believe that he once was nominated for the Supreme Court.  The point is this: it is entirely possible for bad candidates to be nominated, and it would be very bad for them to be confirmed.  It is not OK for us to assume the best when it comes to these nominees.  We need to scrutinize them very carefully.  It would be unpatriotic to do otherwise.