Reagan's Mr. Right

Rehnquist is picked for the court's top job

When William Rehnquist was appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon in 1971, he believed that the court was "heeling" to the left and felt obliged, as he later put it, "to lean the other way." He was not much of a counterweight. The high court at the time was still dominated by liberals from the Earl Warren era, and Rehnquist often found himself in lonely dissent against the Justices' rulings upholding the constitutional rights of blacks, women and the poor. Indeed, Rehnquist was on the short end of so many 8-to-1 votes that his law clerks presented him with...

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