The Senate: The Fortas Defeat

When Abe Fortas was nominated last summer as Chief Justice of the U.S., few doubted that he would win swift approval. He had, after all, already been before the Senate and been confirmed as an Associate Justice, and even Fortas' critics acknowledged that his is one of the nation's best legal minds. Gradually, however, opposition mounted, partly because confident Republicans wanted to name a new Chief Justice themselves come January. The most senous argument against Fortas was that he remained a close adviser to Lyndon Johnson after joining the court. There was...

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