MCLEAN, Va. (AP) – Robert H. Bork, who stepped in to fire the Watergate prosecutor at Richard Nixon’s behest and whose failed 1980s nomination to the Supreme Court helped draw the modern boundaries of cultural fights over abortion, civil rights and other issues, has died. He was 85.
I’m of two minds. Bork became a poster boy for liberal overreach, smear jobs, and dirty tricks, but in the end, I think liberty minded conservatives dodged a bullet in having his nomination to the Supreme Court derailed, in that Bork was famously antipathetic towards the individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment, not to mention having suspiciously statist views of the Constitution overall.
However, in all fairness, he may have altered that 2A position later in life. Many legal thinkers came to do exactly that, which was what created the climate for the Heller decision in the first place. OTOH, I don’t like enough of the rest of his judicial thinking to lead me to think he would have been a shining light for liberty on SCOTUS, given that he often appeared to hold the opinion that the Framers weren’t all that concerned with individual liberty either.