President Reagan charged yesterday that "liberal" opponents of Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork are trying to intimidate judges and to "thwart the desire of the American people" for jurists who will bring criminals to justice.
"Don't let them do it," Reagan told listeners on his weekly radio address.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the nomination. The president has said he will be satisfied if the panel sends Bork's name to the Senate floor without any recommendation.
As he has in recent days, Reagan invoked the framers of the Constitution, saying, "They knew that, like the Constitution itself, the courts must not be politicized.
"But now liberal special-interest groups seek to politicize the court system, to exercise a chilling effect on judges, to intimidate them into making decisions not on the basis of the law or the merits of the case but on the basis of a litmus test or a response to political pressure," the president said.
"These special interests are gravely concerned that Judge Bork's appointment would mean a Supreme Court that practices judicial restraint as our forefathers intended. And that's why the nomination of Judge Bork, a distinguished jurist, has become a distorted, unseemly political campaign," the president said.
Reagan said Bork "has been subjected to a constant litany of character assassination and intentional misrepresentation."