The Tempting of America

The Tempting of America Judge Bork shares a personal account of the Senate Judiciary Committee s hearing on his nomination as well as his view on politics versus the law

  • Title: The Tempting of America
  • Author: Robert H. Bork
  • ISBN: 9780684843377
  • Page: 332
  • Format: Paperback
  • Judge Bork shares a personal account of the Senate Judiciary Committee s hearing on his nomination as well as his view on politics versus the law.

    One thought on “The Tempting of America”

    1. The development, over a period of thousands of years, of democracy --the idea that the people of a nation should ultimately rule themselves through laws made by elected representatives responsible to them-- has to rank as one of the major achievements of Western civilization. It's closely related to a second major Western achievement: the concept of the rule of law, the idea that law is binding on everybody and that the powerful can't simply ignore or defy it whenever they want to. And since the [...]

    2. Bork's minimalist and indeed somewhat admirable approach to con law, perhaps better understood as "restraint" in the Wilkinsonian style, is presented along with a lengthy recap of his confirmation hearings. Bork, who had the misfortune of bringing with him a complicated and lengthy track record, takes aim at the critics who misrepresented it. Although a deserving choice for the Court (and I say this as a Democrat!), Bork refuses to acknowledge his own failings: yes, his opponents distorted his r [...]

    3. This is the HARDEST book I have ever tried to read and the back cover said it was the most understandable book ever written on the law. I gave up but I did learn some interesting things before I did. I learned that the high courts decision in Roe vs. Wade was not based on an explicit constitutional right but was distorted from the right to privacy. The author, a high judge in Washington D.C, claims that the courts are to interpret the Constitution not make laws. The laws should be made by the Le [...]

    4. Very revealing insights into the confirmation debacle that I personally listened to from gavel to gavel. The late Edward Kennedy and Joe Biden are exposed for the rogue and bafoon the respectively was/is.

    5. Written more than a quarter century ago, "The Tempting of America" can now be acknowledged as a prophetic treatise on the dangers of allowing the Constitution to be rewritten by judicial fiat for the purposes of achieving through the courts what a self-appointed cultural/intellectual elite could not achieve through the democratic process. Though his confirmation hearings occurred just two years after President Ronald Reagan appointed, and the Senate unanimously confirmed, Justice Antonin Scalia [...]

    6. In this work Judge Bork examines how law is corrupted when judges allow political and personal value preferences to substitute themselves for the original intentions founded in the constitution. In disregard the constitution, we lose the rule of law and replace it with the rule of men. The rule of men leads ultimately to a collapse in the basis of law, as it simply becomes what whatever any judge wants it to be that day.Bork gives a history of different periods in the life of the courts where ju [...]

    7. never thought i'd relish reading a book i was so prepared to dislike. would never look at 'substantive due process' and the 'equal protection clause' with the same reverential attitude i acquired from those long ago constitutional law classes.

    8. Strict construction of the US Constitution is a principle that is dying. Positivists on the bench are nullifying the values of the country's founding and usurping the States who are the only rightful amenders. A good read to law and government students and cultural documentarians.

    9. Should be required reading for every political science, us gov't, and law student. Part I and III are a good readPart II is a little more tedious and harder to read for someone from a non-legal background.

    10. A must read for anyone who wants to understand the nuts and bolts of our political battles over judges and the Supreme Court. Agree with him or not, you will understand the issues much better.

    11. Complaints? This book is a heavy, intellectual read, not for the faint of heart. It merits attention and study--but it will reward your efforts ten-fold. Now for the good stuff: After I read Bork's book, I told fellow law students there were few law school courses I would not trade for it. I only wish I had read it before sitting through Constitutional Law. Yet the book would be worth the reading for anyone interested in the law. It is likely the most complete and well-reasoned statement of the [...]

    12. Bork was an apostle of the Constitution and The Tempting of America was his Good Book. Like the Old Testament the first section explores the history of judicial activism in America. Then, like epistles, he follows with an apology (look up all the definitions) of Originalism and an deconstruction of the other theories and advocates of other Constitutional interpretive methods, including the Lochner Era and the earliest cases of Justice John Marshall. Finally, his gospel relates his career, leadin [...]

    13. I first came into this book assuming it focused in large part on Bork's nomination, confirmation hearings and Senate rejection. While he covers that subject satisfactorily, the bulk of his book, and it's importance I might add, lies in his vigorous argument for interpreting the Constitution based on the original intent of the Framers, and that nearly all other avenues of interpretation lead to judicial supremacy, imposing values and creating laws outside the Constitution. Bork is decidedly proce [...]

    14. A very interesting and engaging book. This is the highest profile defense of "original intent" jurisprudence of which I am aware. Bork has a pleasant yet acerbic style as a writer and his command of argument is extremely good. In terms of flaws as a book, there are really two:FIRST, Bork never sets out a positive vision of his jurisprudence. Over and over again, he says that one should use original intent because the Constitution is a law. While much of that may seem evident to non-specialists, [...]

    15. NOT A REVIEW. Taking notes.P 41: "Courts cannot nullify an act on the vague ground that they think it opposed to a general latent spirit supposed to pervade or underlie the constitution, where neither the terms nor the implications of the instrument disclose any such restriction. Such a power is denied to the courts, because to concede it would be to make the courts sovereign over both the constitution and the people, and convert the government into a judicial despotism." Nathan Clifford dissen [...]

    16. Judge Bork did a good job of showing the intellectual dishonesty the Court and others have exercised with regard to the Constitution and its interpretation. Personally, I think textualism is superior to originalism, largely due to the difficulty of discerning the intent of those who enacted legislation or ratified the Constitution because the only thing that can usually said to have been definitely agreed upon is the actual text adopted and not what ratifiers or legislators thought about it. How [...]

    17. This book is perfect for those seeking a potent defense of the originalist approach to the Constitution. Bork lays out the relevant theory, then applies it to Supreme Court cases down through the years. He also confronts opposing arguments from both the left and right--he eschews results-driven approaches to the Constitution, irregardless of whether they are supported from conservatives or liberals. Last, Bork details the circumstances and arguments surrounding his nomination to the Supreme Cour [...]

    18. Bork outlines a logical and powerful defense of an originalism interpretation of the Constitution, warning of the dangers of an increasingly politicized SCOTUS as judges take on the role of (unelected) legislators. Many of the conclusions arrived at with this process oriented approach are almost certainly a turn-off to virtually anyone's political sensibilities, but Bork would say that's irrelevant. His subtle sense of humor is a bonus. "The notion of a "living Constitution" seems to appeal to a [...]

    19. A good description of the "originalist" approach to Constitutional adjudication, and a good critique of its alternatives. My one complaint is that he does not offer any justification for the goodness of the Constitution and the Founders' original intent in reality. He makes a good case that it's a functional theory, but I'm still left wondering why it's good or true, according to the nature of things. What's the basis of its legitimacy? He leaves these questions unanswered because he is reluctan [...]

    20. I thought that this book was a well-thought out defense of originalism and the right of people to take a wide range of action through the democratic processes. I ultimately disagree with his philosophy, but it is important for people to read good arguments for originalism so they understand what it is and what it is not. I thought that the book was a tad under-sourced and tended to only source pronouncements that the author agreed. Thus, it was less scholarly that I would have liked, but this is [...]

    21. What an excellent book on the history of the Supreme Court seen through the eyes of someone who, though eminently qualified, was rejected from serving on said court by the Democrats in 1987. There is nothing but objective history here. You'll find no resentment coming from this man in this great work.In this book, Bork discusses many landmark decisions throughout the history of the High Court and the implications these decisions have had on American history. Only problem is that this book is rat [...]

    22. Judge Bork outlines his concept of the judicail doctrine commonly called "Original Understanding" and the dangers inherent in judicial reasoning that is results oriented as opposed to the application of original principles and logic to the problem at hand with the result flowing from problem to solution as opposed to backward from desired political result. Dry reading that would only appeal to lawyers, judges or students of the law and politics.

    23. What a loss it was to this country that Judge Bork did not make it to the Supreme Court. This is an excellent discussion of Constitutional jurisprudence, the proper place of the judiciary in our system, and the limits of government. This is an indispensable guide for those who wonder how the Court became so involved in politics and where we went off the tracks.

    24. It's about the theory of constitutional interpretation. I would have preferred something about the original understanding interpretation of actual constitutional clauses, e.g. the second amendment or interstate commerce clause. It's also a boring, sometimes hard to understand, read.

    25. An important book about a bad view of Constitutional theory. Bork is the best advocates of the school of originalist interpretation of the constitution.

    26. I read this book based on a recommendation from a lawyer friend. I am not aware of the cases / constitution to really appreciate Bork and his views.

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