On CNN's American Morning, anchor Carol Costello asked former Supreme Court clerk and legal columnist Edward Lazarus, "[H]ow many [Supreme Court nominees] will be Borked?" In using the term "Borked" without comment, she echoed a conservative mantra that evokes the 1987 confirmation battle over defeated Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. Conservatives have used the term to refer to any instance in which a nominee is forced to answer unwelcome questions on his or her views, implying that Bork and others like him have been wrongly attacked.
As Media Matters for America pointed out when CNN used the term during a July 1 interview with Bork, the former judge failed to provide evidence that opponents had questioned him unfairly.
From the July 4 edition of CNN's American Morning:
COSTELLO: So, Democrats as a result want to ask specific questions of nominees like on abortion rights. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer [NY] said they're going to try to get away with the idea that we're not going to know their views, but that's not going to work this time. Can you divine, though, someone's views in a hearing just by asking them questions on their beliefs?
LAZARUS: Well, unless they pick another stealth candidate like David Souter, who didn't have much of a track record, I think you're going to know what those persons' views are before they ever get to the green table in the Senate conference room where the hearings are held. So, I don't think it's going to be hard to discern who these people are, especially if he picks one of these Federal Court of Appeals judges who will have a long track record.
COSTELLO: OK. So, how many will be Borked?
LAZARUS: Well, I'm not sure any will be, because the Republicans do control the Senate. And I think it puts the Democrats in a very tough spot to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee, unless they manage during the hearings to expose something that really creates a public furor.