Before there was Judge Bork

there was Judge Haynsworth. Horace Cooper recalls the pre-Bork borking of this judge. In 1969, the charming predecessors of today’s Senate Dems (including the father of Evan Bayh) tried to paint Haynsworth as a racist, despite the lack of any good evidence. Then, they hammered him over a bogus conflict of interest. It worked. The Senate voted him down 55-45.

About a decade later, I argued a few civil rights cases before Haynsworth. If memory serves, in all of them I represented the plaintiff in an action alleging racial discrimination in employment. While Haynsworth didn’t strike me as “a brilliant judge” (Cooper’s characterization), he certainly was an able one. And he clearly did not have it in for African-Americans. I always felt I could (and did) get a fair ruling from Haynsworth.

Some years later, I recall hearing Haynsworth tell the story of how, upon reading a story about himself in the New York Times during the confirmation process, he said to his wife “this man just won’t do.”


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