Politics

Bork, Chertoff to serve as Romney legal advisers

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is forming a “Justice Advisory Committee” of lawyers to advise him on legal issues. Members will include Ronald Reagan’s former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork and former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

In 1987 Reagan nominated Bork, a federal appeals court judge, to serve on the high court. His nomination failed after a contentious, partisan debate with Democrats, including the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, over his originalist constitutional views. Bork’s name has since become synonymous with character assassination in a public forum.

Chertoff was the second Homeland Security Secretary, serving under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He was also a federal appeals court judge and an assistant U.S. Attorney General. (RELATED: Romney ahead of Obama in Pennsylvania poll)

Romney’s campaign said the committee, comprising more than 60 attorneys, will advise him on the “Constitution, judicial matters, law enforcement, homeland security, and regulatory issues.” Some members will also provide legal counsel to the campaign.

In a statement, Romney said the country “needs a Congress and an Executive branch that are cognizant of the bounds of their powers and a judiciary that will strictly construe the Constitution and refuse to legislate from the bench.”