OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA ON HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY “A PROMISED LAND” Part 27 “The high-profile rejection of Robert Bork’s nomination in the late 1980s and the Clarence Thomas–Anita Hill hearings in the early 1990s…”

December 18, 2020

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received several letters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on:

The high-profile rejection of Robert Bork’s nomination in the late 1980s and the Clarence Thomas–Anita Hill hearings in the early 1990s—in which the nominee was accused of sexual harassment—proved to be irresistible TV drama. All of which meant that when it came time for me to replace Justice Souter, identifying a well-qualified candidate was the easy part. The hard part would be getting that person confirmed while avoiding a political circus that could sidetrack our other business.
     We already had a team of lawyers in place to manage the process of filling scores of lower court vacancies, and they immediately began compiling an exhaustive list of possible Supreme Court candidates. In less than a week, we’d narrowed it down to a few finalists, who would be asked to submit to an FBI background check and come to the White House for an interview. The short list included former Harvard Law School dean and current solicitor general Elena Kagan and Seventh Circuit appellate judge Diane Wood, both first-rate legal scholars whom I knew from my time teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago. But as I read through the fat briefing books my team had prepared on each candidate, it was someone I’d never met, Second Circuit appellate judge Sonia Sotomayor, who most piqued my interest. A Puerto Rican from the Bronx, she’d been raised mostly by her mom, a telephone operator who eventually earned her nurse’s license, after her father—a tradesman with a third-grade education—died when Sonia was just nine years old. Despite speaking mostly Spanish at home, Sonia had excelled in parochial school and won a scholarship to Princeton. There, her experiences echoed what Michelle would encounter at the university a decade later: an initial sense of uncertainty and displacement that came with being just one of a handful of women of color on campus; the need to sometimes put in extra work to compensate for the gaps in knowledge that more privileged kids took for granted; the comfort of finding community among other Black students and supportive professors; and the realization over time that she was as smart as any of her peers.
     Sotomayor graduated from Yale Law School and went on to do standout work as a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which helped catapult her to the federal bench. Over the course of nearly seventeen years as a judge, she’d developed a reputation for thoroughness, fairness, and restraint, ultimately leading the American Bar Association to give her its highest rating. Still, when word leaked that Sotomayor was among the finalists I was considering, some in the legal priesthood suggested that her credentials were inferior to those of Kagan or Wood, and a number of left-leaning interest groups questioned whether she had the intellectual heft to go toe-to-toe with conservative ideologues like Justice Antonin Scalia.
     Maybe because of my own background in legal and academic circles—where I’d met my share of highly credentialed, high-IQ morons and had witnessed firsthand the tendency to move the goalposts when it came to promoting women and people of color—I was quick to dismiss such concerns. Not only were Judge Sotomayor’s academic credentials outstanding, but I understood the kind of intelligence, grit, and adaptability required of someone of her background to get to where she was. A breadth of experience, familiarity with the vagaries of life, the combination of brains and heart—that, I thought, was where wisdom came from. When asked during the campaign what qualities I’d look for in a Supreme Court nominee, I had talked not only about legal qualifications but also about empathy. Conservative commentators had scoffed at my answer, citing it as evidence that I planned to load up the Court with woolly-headed, social-engineering liberals who cared nothing about the “objective” application of the law. But as far as I was concerned, they had it upside down: It was precisely the ability of a judge to understand the context of his or her decisions, to know what life was like for a pregnant teen as well as for a Catholic priest, a self-made tycoon as well as an assembly-line worker, the minority as well as the majority, that was the wellspring of objectivity.
     There were other considerations that made Sotomayor a compelling choice. She’d be the first Latina—and only the third woman—to serve on the Supreme Court. And she’d already been confirmed twice by the Senate, once unanimously, making it harder for Republicans to argue that she was an unacceptable choice.
     Given my high regard for Kagan and Wood, I was still undecided when Judge Sotomayor came to the Oval Office for a get-to-know-you session. She had a broad, kind face and a ready smile. Her manner was formal and she chose her words carefully, though her years at Ivy League schools and on the federal bench hadn’t sanded away the Bronx accent. I’d been warned by my team not to ask candidates their positions on specific legal controversies like abortion (Republicans on the committee were sure to ask about any conversation between me and a nominee to see if I had applied a “litmus test” in making my choice). Instead, the judge and I talked about her family, her work as a prosecutor, and her broad judicial philosophy.

Robert Bork was rejected because of his pro-life view. Take a look at this article below!

The Original Sin of Robert Bork | Opinion

BY ILYA SHAPIRO  ON 9/09/20 AT 6:30 AM EDT


in November 1986, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden had said that he would support Bork if “after our investigations, he looks a lot like [Antonin] Scalia [who had been confirmed unanimously earlier that year]…and if the [special-interest] groups tear me apart, that’s the medicine I’ll have to take.”

Bork was the obvious choice, head and shoulders in intellectual reputation and resume alike above other contenders. Then serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, to which he was unanimously confirmed in 1982, Bork had been U.S. solicitor general in the Nixon and Ford administrations, the number three man at the Justice Department and the government’s lawyer before the Supreme Court. Considered a potential justice for at least 15 years, Bork had once been promised a seat by President Nixon, but Nixon then resigned before he could fulfill that pledge.Newsweek subscription offers >

Upon learning of Powell’s resignation, Reagan asked for a list of potential nominees, which was prepared by his chief of staff, former Senator Howard Baker, along with Attorney General Edwin Meese and White House Counsel A.B. Culvahouse. Baker took the list to key senators, revealing several possibilities but asking for discretion to avoid leaks. Biden, who was on the presidential campaign trail and had now heard from those activist groups, flew back to Washington to meet with Reagan and give advice. “If you nominate [Bork],” a chastened Biden said, “you’ll have trouble on your hands.”

President Reagan announced Bork’s nomination on July 1, describing him as “well prepared, evenhanded and openminded” and highlighting his exceptional academic and professional qualifications. The strategy was to portray Bork as neither a conservative nor a liberal, but as someone who would use his towering intellect to follow the law wherever it led. On pure legal merit, he was widely considered the most qualified nominee since Felix Frankfurter.

Within 40 minutes of Reagan’s announcement, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) took to the Senate floor with a condemnation of “Robert Bork’s America” as “a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions,

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Carl Sagan pictured below:

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Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I had the privilege to correspond with in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1996 I had a chance to respond to his December 5, 1995letter on January 10, 1996 and I never heard back from him again since his cancer returned and he passed away later in 1996. Below is what Carl Sagan wrote to me in his December 5, 1995 letter:

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.You argue that God exists because otherwise we could not understand the world in our consciousness. But if you think God is necessary to understand the world, then why do you not ask the next question of where God came from? And if you say “God was always here,” why not say that the universe was always here? On abortion, my views are contained in the enclosed article (Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan {1990}, “The Question of Abortion,” Parade Magazine, April 22.)

I was introduced to when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

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Francis Schaeffer

I was blessed with the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Sagan, and in his December 5, 1995 letter Dr. Sagan went on to tell me that he was enclosing his article “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I am going to respond to several points made in that article. Here is a portion of Sagan’s article (here is a link to the whole article):

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(both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer mentioned Carl Sagan in their books and that prompted me to write Sagan and expose him to their views.



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Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

Related image

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You’d think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition. Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences. Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Opinions are polarized. Minds are closed.

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

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End of Sagan Excerpt 

When I was in high school the book and film series named WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? came out and it featured Doctor C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer and they looked at the issues of abortion, infanticide, and youth euthanasia and they looked at comments from such scholars as Peter Singer and James D. Watson. 

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C. Everett Koop pictured above and Peter Singer below


Peter Singer, an endowed chair at Princeton’s Center for Human Values, said, “Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.”

James D.Watson


In May 1973, James D. Watson, the Nobel Prize laureate who discovered the double helix of DNA, granted an interview to Prism magazine, then a publication of the American Medical Association. Time later reported the interview to the general public, quoting Watson as having said, “If a child were not declared alive until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice only a few are given under the present system. The doctor could allow the child to die if the parents so choose and save a lot of misery and suffering. I believe this view is the only rational, compassionate attitude to have.”

Carl Sagan

On August 30, 1995 I mailed a letter to Carl Sagan that probably prompted this discussion on abortion and it enclosed a lengthy story from Adrian Rogers about an abortion case in Pine Bluff, Arkansas that almost became an infanticide case:

An excerpt from the Sunday morning message (11-6-83) by Adrian Rogers in Memphis, TN. 

I want to tell you that secular humanism and so-called abortion rights are inseparably linked together. We have been taught that our bodies and our children are the products of the evolutionary process, and so therefore human life may not be all that valuable to begin with. We have come today to where it is legal and even considered to be a good thing to put little babies to death…15 million little babies put to death since 1973 because of this philosophy of Secular Humanism. 

How did the court make that type of decision? You would think it would be so obvious. You can’t do that! You can’t kill little babies! Why? Because the Bible says! Friend, they don’t give a hoot what the Bible says! There used to be a time when they talked about what the Bible says because there was a time that we as a nation had a constitution that was based in the Judeo-Christian ethic, but today if we say “The Bible says” or “God says “Separation of Church and State. Don’t tell us what the Bible says or what God says. We will tell you what we think!” Therefore, they look at the situation and they decide if it is right or wrong purely on the humanistic philosophy that right and wrong are relative and the situation says what is right or what is wrong. 

This little girl just 19 years old went into the doctor’s office and he examined her. He said, “We can take take of you.” He gave her an injection in her arm that was to cause her to go into labor and to get rid of that protoplasm, that feud, that little mass that was in her, but she wasn’t prepared for the sound she was about to hear. It was a little baby crying. That little baby weighed 13 ounces. His hand the size of my thumbnail. You know what the doctor did. The doctor put that little baby in a grocery sack and gave it to Maria’s two friends who were with her in that doctor office and Said, “It will stop making those noises after a while.” 

Image result for adrian rogers

(Adrian Rogers pictured above)

Image result for pine bluff arkansas 1983
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Image result for jefferson county hospital, pine bluff, arkansas
My wife was born in main hospital in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

They took that grocery sack and Maria home and one hour passed and two hours passed and that baby was still crying and panting for his life in that grocery sack. They took that little baby down to the hospital there in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and they called an obstetrician and he called a pediatrician and they called nurses and they began to work on that little baby. Today that baby is alive and well and healthy, that little mass of protoplasm. That little thing that wasn’t a human being is alive and well. I want to tell you they spent $150,000 to save the life of that baby. NOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THEY CAN SPEND $150,000 TO SAVE THE LIFE OF SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY WAS PAYING ANOTHER DOCTOR TO TAKE THE LIFE OF? The same life!!! Are you going to tell me that is not a baby? Are you going to tell me that if that baby had been put to death it would not have been murder? You will never convince me of that. What has happened to us in America? We have been sold a bill of goods by the Secular Humanists!

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

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