The Law: Will Douglas Quit?

On Monday morning, Jan. 6, less than a week after William O. Douglas had suffered a stroke, the eight other Justices met sadly in the Supreme Court building. Personal reactions aside, they were faced with serious problems posed by Douglas' absence. The Justices decided to delay hearing arguments on five cases. Each one was picked not so much for its importance, but because without Douglas the others feared a tie vote that would render high-court consideration meaningless; it would simply leave a lower-court decision in effect.

This week the court will begin hearing four...

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