Although he was best known by the public for the contentious Supreme Court hearings that resulted in his nomination to the Supreme Court being defeated -- and because the...lies about his views purveyed by the likes of Ted Kennedy created the term "Borking" -- he held a significant place in American public life for a long time.
He was an antitrust scholar, a Yale Law School professor, Solicitor General, Acting Attorney General and a judge on the DC Circuit. He was also the author of fine books including Slouching Toward Gomorrah and The Tempting of America.
By all accounts, he was a man of great intellect and personal integrity -- who refused to tailor his views to prevailing notions of political correctness. He paid a price for that.
Our Congress has had any number of disgraceful episodes, but few were as disgraceful, or as damaging to the country, as its rejection of Bork's Supreme Court nomination. The jurist eventually confirmed for the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy, has cast decisive votes in watershed criminal cases that almost certainly would have gone the other way had Judge Bork been in that seat.
I knew Judge Bork slightly; my wife knew him better. His intellect was astonishing. We will miss him, and the law will miss him.