Controversial Supreme Court Nominee Robert Bork Dies At 85

robert borkRobert Bork, whose failed Supreme Court nomination was one of the most contentious across-the-aisle battles in modern Washington, died today of complications from heart disease. He was 85.

Throughout his judicial career, Bork worked to undermine affirmative action and reproductive rights, and prevent extending civil-rights laws to the LGBT community. In 1984, he argued that “private, consensual homosexual conduct is not constitutionally protected.”

When Justice Lewis Powell retired from the Supreme Court in 1987, then-president Ronald Reagan nominated Bork for the highest court in the land. But the left rallied staunch opposition, including a television campaign featuring actor Gregory Peck.

“Robert Bork’s America,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) declared on the Senate floor, “ is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is — and is often the only — protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.”

The Senate voted 58-42 to deny Bork’s appointment—Anthony Kennedy eventually took the slot on the bench—and the battle led SCOTUS nominees ever since then to keep fairly mum about their personal views.

After his confirmation was scuttled, Bork left the judiciary but remained active in reactionary political causes.  He vocally opposed the “radical redefinition of mariage” posed by same-sex marriage, and supported a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality. Last year, he worked as a legal adviser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Bork also became part of the American lexicon: In March 2002, the Oxford English Dictionary added an entry for the verb “bork” to mean, “to defame or vilify a person systematically… usually with the aim of preventing his or her appointment to public office.”

Hell of a legacy.

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  • 2eo

    His black heart finally caused him to choke. May he find my peace by rotting in his gods hell.

  • John Doe

    Bork comes from a generation in which many unthinkable things were acceptable. Just like how being 100% anti-gay was entirely acceptable amongst the VAST majority of Democrats and Republicans 30 – 40 years ago. That is obviously changing… albeit there is still a long ways to go. In another 30 – 40 years being anti-gay will be akin to being a anti-black in today’s world.

    Times are changing… thankfully. At the same time we often do not learn from our past mistakes (or bigotry).

  • Charli Girl

    Sure glad old paw paw Scalia isn’t quiet and shy,so the whole world can hear his hate spew out his mouth!
    Unfortunately his offspring is JUST like him… So another generation to look forward too.

  • jwrappaport

    He should have stuck with antitrust defense – they say he was good at it, and after reading Slouching Towards Gomorrah, it’s pretty clear he wasn’t a serious intellectual force and instead would have been a terrific corporate drone. Goodbye, Robert – you were a bigot and a tyrant, and you will not be missed.

  • Jack E. Jett

    They should have a giant garbage disposal for people like him.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Then the poor fish would have to contend with bork-bits fouling their water.

  • ChiChi Man

    Good riddance Bobby. I’m just glad he lived long enough to see the results of the last election. His disgusting vision for this country is dying a slow,discreditable death!

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