Robert Bork, former solicitor general under the Nixon administration and later, federal judge, died Wednesday morning after a history of both heart and lung problems.
Bork is best remembered for his failed nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by then-President Ronald Reagan. During the nomination procedure, he was excoriated by the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy for his conservative legal opinions.
According to the Fox News report of Bork’s death:
Bork was among the most polarizing figures in American law and conservative politics for more than four decades. When Bork was solicitor general in 1973, he fired Archibald Cox as a special prosecutor on the order of President Richard Nixon to help in the Watergate cover-up.
President Ronald Regan nominated Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987. In a 58-to-42 vote, the Senate rejected his nomination — it was by one of the widest margins in U.S. history.
Shortly after the announcement, Fox News interviewed Bork’s grandson, Robert Bork III.
“Even in his old age, he was just a great person to talk to. He was open to conversation, and I looked forward to seeing him,” he said. “We were planning to see him for Christmas.”
Although he was never elevated to the Supreme Court, his legal opinion among conservatives was always sought and respected.