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Conservative Icon, Judge Robert H. Bork, Passes at Age 85, Reaction…



From the Washington Post:

Robert H. Bork, the conservative jurist who fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the “Saturday Night Massacre” in 1973 and whose failed nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 sparked an enduring political schism over judicial nominations, died early Wednesday at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington of complications from heart disease. He was 85.

The death was confirmed by Mr. Bork’s daughter-in-law, Diana Culp Bork.

Statement from the Federalist Society

In Memoriam: Robert H. Bork

The Federalist Society extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Judge Robert H. Bork.

Judge Bork was a legal giant, and a man of unsurpassed integrity, intellect, courage, and kindness. Since the inception of the Federalist Society he has been a very special friend, inspiration, and intellectual guiding light.

Our nation owes Judge Bork an enormous debt of gratitude for his irrepressible and forceful defense of the Constitution as it was written and understood by our Founding Fathers, pioneering a jurisprudence of original meaning that has had enormous influence in the legal academy as well as in the courts.

The many leaders and members of the Federalist Society who had the privilege of knowing Judge Bork certainly feel a sense loss at this time. The Judge’s unparalleled wisdom and wonderful wit will be missed. Fortunately much of it will endure through his enormous body of published writings, speeches and lectures that future generations can enjoy and profit from.

Robert Bork’s contributions and achievements are already a part of the fabric of our country. His memory and legacy live on, and, we hope, will further help to preserve America’s exceptional commitment to limited, constitutional government and the rule of law.

Reaction statements from key figures

“Robert Bork was one of the most influential legal scholars of the past 50 years. His impact on legal thinking in the fields of Antitrust and Constitutional Law was profound and lasting. More important for the final accounting, he was a good man and a loyal citizen. May he rest in peace.”

Hon. Antonin Scalia

Supreme Court of the United States


“He was a great teacher and a wise judge. He was a penetrating and influential writer, a formidable advocate and a captivating speaker. Through it all Robert Bork has had a profound impact on American jurisprudence. And he has earned the country’s admiration and its thanks.”

A. Raymond Randolph

Senior Circuit Judge

United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Deputy Solicitor General under Robert Bork and Advisor to Judge Bork During His Supreme Court Confirmation


“Judge Bork, like St. Thomas More, was a man for all seasons, who towered over all of his contemporaries. Judge Bork revolutionized constitutional law with his writings on originalism, and he revolutionized antitrust law with his writings on law and economics. Judge Bork helped critically in the founding of the Federalist Society, and his career combined the life of the mind with the life of action. His path-breaking books together with his service as Solicitor General, Acting Attorney General during the Watergate scandal and as one of President Ronald Reagan’s Supreme Court nominees transformed American law. Judge Bork was an inspiration and mentor to many young lawyers who have gone on to serve as federal judges and to teach law. His wit, charm, and good friendship will be sorely missed.”

Professor Steven G. Calabresi

Law Clerk to Judge Robert Bork, Former Student of Judge Bork’s, and Judge Bork’s Biographer

Professor at Northwestern University School of Law and Brown University

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