The Nation: President Nixon's New Look at Justice

IN its first two years, the Nixon Administration often approached the problem of lawlessness in American life with a constabulary zeal that moved many critics to warn that the country faced an era of repression. "I am first and foremost a law-enforcement officer," said Attorney General John Mitchell in 1969. "Law-and-order" often did seem to take precedence over social reform. The Administration pushed such police tactics as stop-and-frisk, no-knock and preventive detention, and stressed the need to liberate the nation's cops from the shackles of liberal Supreme Court decisions that protected the rights of criminal defendants.

Now both the emphasis and the...

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