In trying to paint Supreme Cout nominee Robert Bork as some sort of moderate, Walter Berns {"A Judge Who Respects Limits," op-ed, Aug. 24} makes much of the fact that "on the Court of Appeals he voted with his nominally liberal colleague, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in 90 percent of the cases on which they both sat."

This proves nothing, as 86 percent of the rulings of the Court of Appeals during Judge Bork's tenure were decided unanimously. When conservative and liberal judges rule unanimously, the case is usually open and shut and tells one little about a judge's judicial philosophy.

In divided decisions, however, Judge Bork agreed with liberal judges only about 12 percent of the time. And when one analyzes the Court of Appeals' split decisions, one finds that Judge Bork voted consistently to deny standing to parties, even to the U.S. Senate, and voted consistently for government over consumers and environmental groups.

Judge Bork's vigorous attacks on Supreme Court rulings on religious freedom and individual liberties leave little doubt that he has a closed mind and an extremist ideology.

President Reagan should withdraw the Bork nomination.


Aspen Hill

Prof. Walter Berns wrote that Judge Robert Bork "concurred in a decision holding that the Department of Health and Human Services had no authority to require that parents be notified of the contraceptives prescribed for the minor children." In Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. v. Heckler, the secretary's authority to promulgate regulations requiring such notification was challenged. When the Court of Appeals reached its decision, Judge Bork concurred in part, but he also dissented in part.

While Judge Bork agreed with other members of the panel that the secretary did not obtain authority for the regulations from the specific statute cited for its source, he disagreed with the conclusion that the secretary had been precluded from using other authority for that purpose. He wrote: "In truth, there is very little evidence to show that Congress has prohibited the Secretary from adopting a rule requiring parental notification" under a more general authority. Thus, he dissented from that part of the regulations, preferring that they be sent back to the secretary for reconsideration.

Prof. Berns is not only misleading, he is wrong.


Chevy Chase