In October 2010, the Alliance Defending Freedom was privileged to recognize Judge Robert H. Bork with the “Edwin Meese III Award for Originalism and Religious Liberty.” At that time, we described him as, “one of the greatest legal minds in American history, and a person who has made an indelible impact on our nation, on its legal culture, and on the minds and hearts of many of its finest judges, law professors, students, and attorneys.”
Writing today, December 19, 2012, the day on which news reports tell us Judge Bork has died, we not only echo the words spoken about him in 2010, but add to them every superlative imaginable.
Judge Bork was one of the most gentle and kind humans God has ever placed upon this earth. In fact, his gentleness was matched only by his determination to stand against the scourge of judicial activism—an extension of the leftist worldview that denied him a place on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 and which continues to threaten ruin on our nation and our jurisprudence.
He was tenacious in fighting judicial activism: absolutely tenacious.
And sometimes, as he stood against those who would do damage to our judicial system and our legal heritage, Judge Bork was mistakenly judged to be quarrelsome, abrasive, or confrontational.
Yet he was none of these things because he was not a man who argued for sake of arguing. Rather, he argued for what he knew to be the essence of sound jurisprudence and of those things of which he was convinced.
Judge Bork was wise, and young legal minds found solace in his wisdom. Moreover, law professors, judges, and numerous public figures were bettered by having known and conversed with this great man.
As we said in 2010, “Though his legal scholarship, his best-selling books, his academic excellence, his service as Solicitor General, and his role as an appellate judge are all well known, respected, and appreciated, there’s so much more to Judge Robert H. Bork.”
Writing today I can say I was privileged to know the man and to be affected by his great learning and genius.
On this day of his death, we have lost a true patriot and tireless defender of the Constitution that undergirds the great nation Bork loved so much.
Thank God for men like Judge Robert H. Bork. And may God bless the family of Judge Bork during this, their first Christmas season without him.
Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.