Serving Two Masters

William French Smith's Justice Department shapes up

Soft of voice and mild in manner, Attorney General William French Smith was chided by White House aides during his early months in office for sleepwalking through his job and being notably sluggish in guiding the Justice Department by the lights of Reagan philosophy. The Reaganites grumbled that the department was veering "out of control" and complained that Smith was failing to make his career bureaucrats toe the conservative line.

They need worry no longer. Smith is wide awake and has given marching orders to his department to execute a right face on a...

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