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Robert Bork

Robert Bork, the former US solicitor general and federal judge who failed to win confirmation to the Supreme Court, was last Friday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On President Bush's next Supreme Court selection:

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"If the president decides to go with somebody who is moderate, he will not placate his enemies. They will attack him anyway. And he will disillusion his base.... His base is important in getting through legislation he wants."

On Judge John Roberts's role on the Supreme Court:

"My guess would be that he will not participate in creating new constitutional rights that have no basis in the Constitution.... I am not sure he is going to go back and overturn any of the constitutional outrages of the past."

On the moderating effect of being chief justice:

"[There was] in Rehnquist, a moderation of his strong views once he became chief.... Roberts may have the same tendency to be more moderate than he would have been had he been an associate justice."

On whether judges leave historical legacies:

"I don't think judges in general leave legacies. I know they all talk about their legacies, but all it takes is a couple of votes to overturn the legacy and it is gone forever."

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On the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group:

"[Judge Roberts] apparently had some glancing relationship with the Federalist Society, which has been made to sound like a right-wing conspiracy. It is not. It is much less right-wing than the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] is left-wing."