Recently, I began some extended research on Judge Robert Bork and his views on the First Amendment. In the course of that research, I read various items in the Oral History Project of the Historical Society of the District of Columbia, and in particular the oral history file on Judge Bork. I read a transcript of a March 13, 1992 audio interview with the Judge conducted by Victoria L. Radd (then Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications). (Image: here.)
In the process of reading through that file, I came upon some fascinating comments Judge Bork offered concerning his sense of being a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Below I have excerpted a few of those comments.
Assembly Line Jurisprudence
You sit all day in chambers by yourself working on these things and then you go home and talk to the dog at night. It’s a very isolated lifestyle. . . . [E]verybody is busy and you don’t drop in on a judge to kick around a legal question because the judging has become too much of an assembly line process – get the stuff out. And it was regarded as an imposition on somebody to drop in and talk over a case, particularly if they weren’t involved in it. Even if they were involved in it, they communicate by sending a draft back and forth – memoranda and dissents and so forth. Rarely do you get together. We’d get together right after the argument . . . for a discussion and a vote. But typically that’s the last time you are face-to-face about the case. Read More