(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.

For decades, Judge Bork was a major architect of the conservative rebuttal to what he considered liberal judicial activism. He criticized civil rights legislation and rulings in cases involving the “one man, one vote” principle and the constitutional right to privacy.

His unrelenting calls for judicial restraint and his opposition to “imperialistic” liberal judges, who he said read their values into the Constitution, made him an iconic figure in conservative legal circles.

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