Judge Robert H. Bork (1927-2012) served as Solicitor General, acting Attorney General, and circuit judge for United States Court of Appeals. He was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, but was "borked" (defeated by the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate because he was not liberal enough for them). Bork went on to become a leading conservative commentator against judicial activism, and was renowned as an expert in antitrust law.
On Saturday October 20, 1973, independent special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox issued a subpoena asking for tapes of the Oval Office conversations secretly recorded by President Richard Nixon, and the President ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson resigned instead, and the President ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox, but Ruckelshaus also resigned. Finally Nixon convinced Solicitor General Robert Bork, as acting head of the Justice Department, to fire Cox, and Bork complied. This had an impact upon the Congress's bills of impeachment against Nixon.
Supreme Court Nomination
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, but he was rejected by the full Senate in a 58 - 42 vote . Some felt this was a highly partisan confirmation hearing. The verb "bork" appeared in the media, denoting the defeat of a nominee favored by the speaker. Its use generally insinuates that there has been an orchestrated campaign of distortions and vilification to defeat someone for political motivation.
Bork was best known as a legal expert who has advocated a judicial philosophy called originalism. Bork has authored many best-selling books, and served on the advisory board of the American Civil Rights Union.
- See Essay:Best New Conservative Words.