Robert Bork has passed away:

ARLINGTON, Va. — Robert H. Bork, whose failed 1980s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court helped draw the modern boundaries of cultural fights over abortion, civil rights and other issues, has died. He was 85.

Son Robert H. Bork Jr. confirmed the death Wednesday. His father had a long career in politics and the law that took him from respected academic to a totem of conservative grievance.

Bork's defeat during the 1987 Senate nomination hearings made him a hero to the right and a rallying cry for younger conservatives.

Bork also was accused of being a partisan hatchet man for President Richard Nixon when he fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in 1973.