Menu JTA Search

Organizations Pleased by Bork Defeat

American Jewish organizations have expressed keen satisfaction with the Senate’s 58-42 vote last week against seating Judge Robert Bork on the United States Supreme Court.

President Reagan’s nominee was repudiated by 58 Democrats and six Republicans. Henry Siegman, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, hailed the decision as “a victory for the Constitution.”

Anne Foss, vice president of American affairs of NA’AMAT USA (formerly Pioneer Women), said her organization believes the Senate exercised its constitutional responsibility when it rejected Bork.

Siegman said it was clear after three weeks of exhaustive hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee that Judge Bork “would have disabled the Supreme Court from interpreting the Constitution to meet the changing needs of our ever-expanding democracy.” He urged President Reagan to “act quickly” to nominate to the high court someone “who is within the mainstream for American legal thinking.”

The president has yet to make a new nomination. About a half dozen names have been mentioned as his possible choice, all of them members of the federal bench. They include at least one Jew, Laurence Silberman, 52 of Washington, a former deputy attorney general and ambassador to Yugoslavia, now on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

NA’AMAT USA noted in its statement that its national president, Gloria Elbling, was one of the first leaders of a major American Jewish organization to speak out publicly against Bork’s nomination.

She based her opposition on Bork’s positions on church-state separation, civil rights, rights of privacy and equality, which differ sharply from those of her organization.

NEXT STORY