Through the Wringer

A Senate panel questions Rehnquist on race and his past

Tough questions about his civil rights views. Allegations that he tried to prevent minorities from being allowed to vote. Obscure yet embarrassing revelations about the deeds to his homes. A showdown with the White House about memos he wrote on the eve of Watergate.

Last week's confirmation hearings must have seemed an all-too-familiar nightmare to William Rehnquist, President Reagan's nominee to be Chief Justice, who first went through this particular mill in 1971 when he was initially nominated to the Supreme Court. Even with a redoubtable conservative ally, North Carolina Republican Strom Thurmond, at the helm of the Senate Judiciary Committee,...

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