Credit: Andrew Blasko/The Heritage Foundation

Former federal judge and Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork died this morning at the age of 85. Bork served as U.S. solicitor general and a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the Supreme Court.

Heritage Foundation President Edwin J. Feulner called Bork’s death a major loss for both the legal and conservative communities:

It is with considerable sadness that I must report the death early this morning of Judge Robert H. Bork. Judge Bork was a titan in the legal field. He was a partner at a prestigious law firm, a professor at Yale Law School, Solicitor General of the United States, an accomplished author of several legal books, and a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. But those of us who knew him personally knew that he was a wonderful person above all else.

His death is not just a deep loss to the legal and conservative communities, but also a profound loss to everyone who came to know him as a human being.

My own sympathies and those of The Heritage Foundation go out to his family.

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, chairman of Heritage’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, served with Bork in the Reagan administration. He said the former judge leaves a lasting legacy:

Judge Robert Bork was one of our nation’s greatest legal minds and a distinguished champion of the Constitution. He leaves a lasting legacy of scholarly excellence and integrity as well as a record of dedicated service to our Country. In addition to his great accomplishments as a lawyer, law professor, and judge, he was an inspiration to countless law students and lawyers, who were privileged to learn from him.

Bob was a good friend and mentor, whose memory we treasure. Ursula and I extend our deepest sympathy to his wonderful wife, Mary Ellen, and to his family.

In 2008, Bork delivered the first-ever Joseph Story Lecture at Heritage about nominating and confirming judges who are guided by the originalist understanding of the principles of the Constitution.