June 26, 1987: Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., 79, the pivotal Supreme Court vote on several controversial social issues, steps down for health reasons after 15 1/2 years on the bench. President Reagan tells Powell the country "owes you a great debt." July 1: Reagan nominates U.S. Appeals Court Judge Robert H. Bork, 60, to fill the vacancy left by Powell's resignation, calling Bork "the most prominent and intellectually powerful advocate of judicial restraint." White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater says "we recognize that any conservative {will} receive some opposition, but we believe that {he} will be confirmed." Sept. 15: In the first day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Bork says his "philosophy of judging is neither liberal nor conservative." Committee Republicans praise the judge's performance; Democratic observers say his appearance reveals a lack of flexibility. Oct. 6: In a 9-to-5 vote, the committee recommends that the Senate reject Bork's nomination to the court. Eight Democrats and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) form the majority. Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) says "the White House has . . . misunderstood where the American people are on these fundamental issues, and they seem not to have learned the lesson." Oct. 9: Bork appears in the White House briefing room to say he will continue his fight for confirmation "for the sake of the federal judiciary and the American people." Reagan issues a written statement following the announcement, saying he is "pleased by Judge Bork's decision" and denouncing Bork's opponents for "an attack based on innuendos, mistruths and distortions." Yesterday: The Senate rejects the Bork nomination by a vote of 58 to 42.