Nation: The Confirmation Marathon

Confirmation of the President's appointees has been a prerogative of the Senate from the nation's beginning. In the vast majority of cases, the President gets his way—but often not before the Senate tweaks a few noses, publicly absolves itself of future misdeeds by the appointee and throws in a few surprises. Last week the Senate looked over Richard Nixon's appointees at close range, performing its usual quota of tweaking as well as offering its own surprises.

Somewhat more than tweaks were directed at Alaska Governor Walter J. Hickel, who was once described by a...

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