Robert Bork, an intellectual godfather of conservative jurisprudence in the modern era, died on Wednesday due to complications from heart disease. He was 85. Bork was revered in conservative circles for laying the groundwork for an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, but was criticized by liberals for his opposition to Roe v. Wade and the Civil Rights Act. Ronald Reagan nominated him to the Supreme Court in 1987, but his nomination was defeated 58-42 — a lingering source of bitterness for conservatives.
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Controversial conservative jurist Robert Bork dead at 85
Robert Bork listens during a Senate panel discussion in 2005. Alex Wong/Getty Images
December 19, 2012
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