Judge Robert Bork(AP)

Conservative jurist Robert Bork, a former solicitor general and federal judge,  has died at 85.

Judge Bork, who was senior judicial adviser this year to the presidential campaign of Gov. Mitt Romney, played a small but crucial role in the Watergate crisis as the solicitor general under President Richard M. Nixon. He carried out orders to fire a special prosecutor in what became known as “the Saturday Night Massacre.” He also handed down notable decisions from the federal appeals court bench. But it was as a symbol of the nation’s culture wars that Judge Bork made his name.

Some reactions from around the interwebs, starting glibly with The Awl:

Robert Bork, whose unsuccessful Supreme Court nomination alerted conservatives that if they wanted to be confirmed to the bench they needed to obscure their retrograde views on equality by responding to any and all questions with bland, affable baseball metaphors, has died.

David Lat, who founded Above the Law, the popular legal blog, tweeted this:

wonders how many #SCOTUS nominees (or justices) have had their names turned into verbs; Robert Bork, RIP:

Jonah Goldberg of the National Review added this:

Judge Robert Bork has died. I’m honored to have known him. A brilliant, patriotic man. My condolences to his wonderful wife and family.

Across the pond, Daniel Hannan quipped:

Years ago, I suggested to Judge Bork that the US should stop paying for judges to visit foreign courts where they picked up odd ideas.

Over at Slate, Dave Weigel suggests that had Bork been confirmed, the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade would have likely been reversed.