Edwin Meese: The Crusading Attorney General

Edwin Meese tilts at the courts, quotas and criminal rights

To conservatives, he is a staunch moralist determined to see that the U.S. legal system protects the nation's traditional values. To progressives, he is an overreaching ideologue intent on using the Justice Department to dismantle two decades of legal advances. After just six months in office, Edwin Meese has proved to be one of the most blunt-spoken and activist Attorneys General since the New Deal. At his ceremonial swearing-in last March, the country's chief lawyer made his new role clear: "This department will be fiercely independent in . . . upholding the law. But this is not inconsistent with conscientiously and...

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