Robert Bork, a law professor and federal judge whose nomination for Supreme Court was rejected by the Senate, has died. Bork passed away from complications due to heart disease, The New York Times reports.
President Ronald Reagan nominated Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987. But Bork, a federal appeals court judge since 1982, quickly came under withering attack for his judicial philosophy. He advocated a view of judging known as "strict constructionism," or "originalism," because it seeks to limit constitutional values to those explicitly enunciated by the Framers and to reject those that evolved in later generations.
Bork dismissed the view that the courts had rightly come to the aid of those neglected by the majority. By contrast, he felt that majorities, through legislatures, should be empowered to make all decisions not specifically addressed in the Constitution.
Bork was also suspect to Senate Democrats, and some Republicans, for his small but crucial role in the Watergate crisis as the solicitor general under President Richard M. Nixon. He carried out orders to fire a special prosecutor in what became known as "the Saturday Night Massacre."
Via The New York Times.