The Law: A Freight Train to Optimism

His years are finally beginning to show. The onetime 25-mile hikes have been cut to 15. He often drives where he once would have walked. But the startling blue eyes are as keen and alert as ever. So, too, is the intellect of William O. Douglas, 75, who last week became the longest-sitting Justice in the Supreme Court's history, surpassing the 34 years and 195 days served by Stephen J. Field.

To Douglas' many critics, the milestone was a misfortune that they had tried to head off several times with impeachment (most recently in...

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