A Letter From The Publisher: Oct. 8, 1984

When TIME prepares a cover story, its correspondents often interview scores, sometimes hundreds, of people. The goal is to provide a fresh portrait of the subject that is accurate, revealing and comprehensive. For this week's cover story, Correspondent Anne Constable faced one unusual difficulty: Supreme Court Justices do not talk to the press. So she launched her research by speaking at length to nearly two dozen former Supreme Court clerks, all of whom had finished their one-year stints only last summer. Explains Constable: "The newly graduated clerks are perhaps the most knowledgeable source of current information about the Justices, their relationships...

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