What are my marching orders?" asked District Court Judge James Boyle on the telephone from Edgartown. "Halt," replied the clerk of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Boston.

Last week, 17 hours before the inquest In Re: Mary Jo Kopechne was to begin on Martha's Vineyard, the state's highest court intervened, delaying the proceeding for at least several weeks and temporarily awarding Edward M. Kennedy a legal victory. Justice Paul Reardon ordered a postponement until the full seven-member supreme court, now in recess, could hear arguments on whether an inquest governed by Judge...

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