Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder

By Max Sherman | Go to book overview

TESTIMONY IN OPPOSITION TO THE
NOMINATION OF ROBERT BORK, STATEMENT
TO THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
SEPTEMBER 17, 1987

Mr. Chairman:

I oppose the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court of the United States. My opposition is not a knee-jerk reaction of follower-ship of persons and groups whose views I generally share. My opposition is the result of careful thought, a reading of the White House position paper in support of Judge Bork and this committee's point-by-point response, discussions with persons whose views I respect, and fifty-one years of being a Black American, born in the South and determined to be heard by the majority community. Those factors caused me to become an opponent.

Mr. Chairman, I concede the nominee's quality of intellect and scholarship. But more is required. When you have experienced the frustrations of the minority position and felt the foreclosure of your last appeal, to be rescued by a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States is like being born again. I had that experience. The year was 1962. I had recently graduated from Boston University Law School (1959). A group of local Democrats urged me to run for election to the Texas House of Representatives. There were twelve places to be filled from Houston, Harris County, Texas. I sought Place 10. I lost, but I got 46,000 votes. Undaunted, I ran again in 1964, thinking people know me now. Again I lost, but I got over 64,000 votes. Why couldn't I win? Those were countywide races in which the votes of the people

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