The New York Times flip-flops on judicial restraint

In his bestselling 1990 book The Tempting of America, Bork argued that the “first principle” of the American system wasn’t the protection of individual rights, it was majority rule. “In wide areas of life,” Bork wrote, “majorities are entitled to rule, if they wish, simply because they are majorities.” For the courts, this meant adopting a pro-government posture of judicial restraint—precisely what The New York Times wants the Supreme Court to do in the health care case.

Yet just two days ago the Times ran another unsigned editorial that offered a very different take on judicial restraint. In that piece, the paper attacked GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for asking Bork to head up his campaign’s Justice Advisory Committee. According to the Times, Romney’s acceptance of Bork and his “extreme views” reveals the shortcomings of Romney’s own approach to the law.