Law: Gadfly to the Brethren

One day last fall a lawyer for the oil industry stood before the Supreme Court and urged the nine robed Justices to throw out a federal regulation limiting the amount of dangerous benzene vapor permitted in the workplace. Justice John Paul Stevens, the newest member of the court, leaned forward and put it squarely to the attorney: "If you win this case, isn't it true that some people may die as a result?" It was a typically pointed question from Stevens, but as befits a man renowned for his skill at the bridge table,...

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