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Hannity

Heated Rhetoric

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," May 19, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Senators from both parties continued trading jabs on Capitol Hill today as the showdown over the judicial nominees moved to day two. Take a look at what Ted Kennedy said earlier today on the floor of the Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENNEDY: There was never a single time when any senator from Massachusetts was effectively muzzled, silenced, gagged when they were expressing their conscience, their view, about the members that are going to the Supreme Court or the circuit courts, et cetera.

Not in the history of this body, never!

But, under the proposal of the majority leader, that will no longer be the case. That no longer will be the case.

It isn't only the silencing, the muzzling and the gagging of any of the members in here. It is breaking the rules in the middle of the game.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: Joining us now, an exclusive interview, is a man who has a unique perspective of the judicial nomination process, including going toe to toe with Senator Kennedy, former Federal Appeals Court Judge Robert Bork.

Judge Bork, I wouldn't call that a meltdown. You may not agree with Senator Kennedy, but he certainly...

JUDGE ROBERT BORK, FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: That was earlier.

COLMES: ... nor what he said earlier was a meltdown. He has a different point of view perhaps than you do. What is your view on this?

BORK: Well, a different point of view. A different point of view that is expressed in telling falsehoods. If you want to call this not a meltdown, perhaps.

COLMES: If you want to talk about a meltdown, here is what Rick Santorum said today on the floor of the Senate, let's see if this — he was talking about the filibuster. Let's see if this is a meltdown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RICK SANTORUM, (R) PENNSYLVANIA: The rule has been in place for 214 years that this is the way we confirm judges. Broken by the other side two years ago. And the audacity of some members to stand up and say, how dare you break this rule!

It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, I'm in Paris, how dare you invade me, how dare you bomb my city? It's mine!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: Do you think it's appropriate to compare what the Democrats are doing to Adolf Hitler circa 1942?

BORK: No, I don't. But I'm afraid this town is more poisonous now, more polarized and venomous than even during Nixon's troubles when he was forced from office. I had never seen anything like this going on now. Democrats are fighting furiously to keep control of the judiciary. They do not want people elevated to the Supreme Court, in particular, who will follow the actual principles of the Constitution, as opposed to making up a liberal agenda.

COLMES: Well, that's...

BORK: I beg your pardon?

COLMES: What is happening here is that the Democrats are trying to preserve something that has been in place for 214 years, and it's the Republicans who want to change the rules now that they're in power, because they want to get everything they ask for. Isn't that what is happening here?

BORK: What is happening is that the Democrats are going to try to prevent judges who follow the real meaning of the Constitution from getting on the bench. That's what the filibuster is about. There hasn't been any filibusters like this ever. It's always been a majority vote in the Senate.

COLMES: Well, Bill Frist has threatened to filibusterer in the past, wanted to participate in the filibuster against Paez. You know that there was a filibuster concerning Fortas. And Frist rejected moving on consensus nominees, which is what Harry Reid wanted to do yesterday. They could have moved forward and started to approve those where there was a consensus. Shouldn't they at least have done that yesterday?

BORK: No, I hope the Republicans don't compromise, because the Democrats are really threatening the integrity of the judiciary. And I think that the time has come to have a showdown about it. And breaking the filibuster is the way to do it.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Judge Bork, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

And let me repeat for our audience. And nobody can contradict this. This is the first time in 214 years, the first time that judicial nominees who would otherwise, if given an up-or-down vote would be approved, are being denied an up-or-down vote. It has never happened before ever. Judge, when you were — in 1987, Ted Kennedy said about you, you have been a victim of this.

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is the protector of individual rights."

This man has been involved in smear campaigns like this starting with you.

BORK: I was going to say, not to be too gentle about the fact, every one of those allegations was a lie. And when I went to see Ted Kennedy before the hearings, he wouldn't look at me, but he looked down and said "nothing personal." Now, the man just called me a monster, but there's nothing personal in it. That indicates what they're doing. They're fighting to retain control of a liberal judiciary. It's the only branch of government they have got, and these days it's the most powerful branch of government.

HANNITY: So that's what it's really about. Isn't it? They don't win elections. They don't accept the will of the American people in elections, so that here they will smear public servants like you or the daughter of sharecroppers, Alabama sharecroppers, a woman who has a terrific background, Justice Janice Rogers Brown, grew up under segregation, Jim Crow. She doesn't get an up-or-down vote either because they don't like her politics, and this is what it comes down to and then a smear campaign on top of it?

BORK: That is exactly what is going on. And I think the modern Supreme Court, if you look at it, is really out of control. You have got them saying the most blatant pornography, including child pornography that is computer-simulated, is free speech and protected. They have done their best to move religion out of the public sphere as much as they can. They have allowed racial and gender discrimination against white males. They have been whittling away at the death penalty. I think they're going to try to do away with it. And they have been...

HANNITY: You know what's amazing — go ahead.

BORK: And I was going to say, and they have been, I think, legitimizing, normalizing homosexuality. I think they're within a blink of declaring homosexual marriage a constitutional right.

Now, it may be that the outrage in the country that came from after the Massachusetts decision saying that it was a constitutional right, and after this Nebraska judge who struck down the Nebraska Constitution, because it defined marriage as between a man and a woman, it may be that the Supreme Court will back off in the face of popular unhappiness. But they will be back.

COLMES: The Supreme Court is not liberal, and certainly the judiciary is by in large conservative, not liberal.

HANNITY: Hugely liberal.

COLMES: We have more conservative appointed judges than liberal appointed judges.

BORK: It's hard to find them when you look at the Supreme Court.

COLMES: Just look at the record.

I thank you very much, sir, for being with us.

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