Dec. 7, 1981:
President Reagan nominates Robert H. Bork, a solicitor general during the Nixon administration, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Bork's term begins in 1982.
July 1, 1987:
Reagan nominates Bork to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., calling Bork "the most prominent and intellectually powerful advocate of judicial restraint."
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.
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 . . . . "
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, denouncing Bork's opponents for "an attack based on innuendos, mistruths and distortions."
The Senate rejects the Bork nomination by a vote of 58 to 42. Bork says he is "glad the debate took place. There is now a full and permanent record by which the future may judge not only me but the proper nature of a confirmation proceeding."
Bork's Jan. 7 letter of resignation from the Court of Appeals, effective Feb. 5, is made public.