Robert Bork, one of the most polarizing judicial figures of his era, has passed away at 85.
A conservative legal theorist who championed the strict constructionism embraced by Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, Bork is perhaps best known for the job he never got. In 1987, President Reagan nominated him to the Supreme Court, but the Senate rejected him on the basis of his judicial philosophy and temperament. With that, “getting borked” entered the lexicon, referring to nominees rejected for political reasons.
Bork also served as solicitor general under President Nixon and famously carried out the order to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was investigating the Watergate scandal, in what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre.
Appointed to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan, Bork also taught at Yale Law School and most recently served as a legal adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.