THE SUPREME COURT: The Senior Justice Retires

After 34 years on the nation's highest bench—the third longest tenure of any Justice—Hugo Lafayette Black, 85, last week informed the President that he was resigning immediately because of failing health. Thus facing with characteristic directness what his mind and conscience commanded, Black ended a career that, by virtue of its length and intellectual power, has placed him among the handful of the nation's very greatest jurists.

Since last month Black has been in Bethesda Naval Hospital, where doctors say he has a potentially serious inflammation of the blood vessels. President Nixon...

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