The Law: Mooting Justice Douglas

Whatever his troubles—a near fatal riding accident in 1949, three impeachment threats or, most recently, a severe stroke—Justice William O. Douglas, 76, has crustily refused to remove his unique voice from the Supreme Court. But last week, as the current term was moving toward the latest regular-session adjournment in history, it was learned that Douglas' fellow Justices had quietly moved to moot the great libertarian by unofficially discounting his vote.

Since his stroke on New Year's Eve, the court has announced no 5-to-4 vote that relied on him as part of the majority. After...

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