to “Bork”

Hm. Did not know that.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked reasons for rejecting Bork in 1987 was his ignominious role in the Watergate Scandal. See, when the special prosecutor Archibald Cox issued a subpoena of Nixon’s secret tapes for research, Nixon knew that those tapes would incriminate him and his staff in the Watergate investigation. nixon ordered his Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refused, and handed in his resignation, rather than be part of the coverup. Nixon then replaced him with a new Attorney General, William Ruckelshaus. Ruckelshaus also refused to fire Cox, and resigned rather than be part of the coverup. So Nixon then turned to his Solicitor General, Robert Bork, to stand in as the Attorney General, and Bork fired Cox. of course, this looked rather suspicious — The Nixon administration had gone through 3 attorney Generals in the course of a weekend, and the special prosecutor was fired without reason. The press took notice, and Congress was infuriated by the act, which was seen as a gross abuse of Presidential power. In the days that followed, numerous bills of impeachment against the President were introduced in Congress. Nixon defended his actions in a famous press conference on November 17, 1973, but it did no good, as he resigned before a new prosecutor could be appointed.

And thus, I find at the wikki:

In the years after the Saturday Night Massacre, a well-known joke said that “borking” was “firing a man for doing exactly what he was hired to do” (i.e. Judge Bork had “borked” Archibald Cox, whose job had been to investigate criminal activities in the Nixon White House). After Bork’s confirmation hearings, however, a new meaning was given to Bork’s name: to be borked is to have one’s presidential appointment defeated after fierce battles in the Senate.

I joked that Bush oughta just go ahead and renominate Robert Bork. Maybe he will when Rehnquist retires. Or he could offer it to a college Republican — you know the drill: then you’d have a reliable right-wing perch on the bench for 60 years instead of this wacky 30 that Roberts is set to have. (I ponder the fact that Clinton’s picks were 10 and 15 years older than Bush I’s Clarence Thomas pick.)

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