Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
to seek to obstruct a political appointment or selection; also, to attack a political opponent viciously
from the incident involving Robert Bork, US Supreme Court nominee in 1987
1987, "to discredit a candidate for some position by savaging his or her career and beliefs," from name of U.S. jurist Robert H. Bork (1927-2012), whose Supreme Court nomination in 1987 was rejected after an intense counter-campaign.
: close ranks to coordinate a huge preemptive borkverb
To mount an intense campaign against a political appointee; bushwhack: ''We're going to Bork him,'' proclaimed a feminist advocate
[late 1980s+; fr the experience of Judge Robert Bork, whose 1987 nomination to the Supreme Court was rejected by strong concerted opposition]