William Safire of The New York Times attributes “possibly” the first use of ‘Bork’ as a verb to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of August 20th, 1987. Safire defines “to bork” by reference “to the way Democrats savaged Ronald Reagan’s nominee, the Appeals Court judge Robert H. Bork, the year before.”
This definition stems from the history of the fight over Bork’s nomination. Bork was widely lauded for his competence, but reviled for his political philosophy.
In March 2002, the word was added to the Oxford English Dictionary under “Bork”; its definition extends beyond judicial nominees, stating that people who Bork others “usually [do so] with the aim of preventing [a person’s] appointment to public office.”