Bork, during his confirmation hearings
For those who may not remember, or may have never heard about it, the salient event in the entire career of Bork was the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre." Briefly, as described by Wikipedia,
"The Saturday Night Massacre was the term used by political commentators to refer to U.S. President Richard Nixon's dismissal of independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus on October 20, 1973, during the Watergate scandal"
Cox was appointed by Richardson to investigate the Watergate affair; his appointment was accepted after he assured the Senate that Cox would be given a free hand to examine the evidence.
Cox subpoenaed Nixon for copies of the infamous Watergate tapes, when their existence became known. Nixon offered one of the most hilarious "compromises" in political history; he agreed to let the tapes be reviewed by Senator John Stennis who, it just so happened, was, at that point in his life, nearly deaf.
Nixon then ordered Attorney General Richardson to fire Cox, breaking his agreement with Congress. Richardson refused, and resigned. The same thing happened with deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus, who also resigned rather than participate in such an utter betrayal.
Nixon then turned to Robert Bork, who was at the time the Solicitor General. Without apparent qualms, Bork fired Cox, after being brought by limousine to the White House and being secretly sworn in as acting Attorney General.
Well, that's the story. Given his moment on the national stage, in an affair of staggering importance which led to the only resignation of a President in our history, Bork placed his personal career ahead of the rule of law, the Nixon administration's honor, and the welfare of the United States.
At the time of Reagan's attempt to get Bork on the court, I believe, the Democrats really failed to articulate the full force of this argument, but it is clear to me that, of all people in this country, Bork, however brilliant and versed in the law, had demonstrated himself to be uniquely morally unqualified to sit on the court. Once in a while, Congressional Democrats rise out of their stupor and do the right thing; this is an example.