New Look at an Old Memo Casts More Doubt on RehnquistBreaking News
...“I realize it is an unpopular and unhumanitarian position, for which I have been excoriated by ‘liberal’ colleagues,” Mr. [William] Rehnquist wrote [in a 1952 memo], “but I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed.”...
In a new article in The Boston College Law Review, two scholars reconstruct and analyze another letter by Mr. Rehnquist, this one to Justice Felix Frankfurter in 1955, and they draw some stinging conclusions....
The new law review article makes the case that “Rehnquist’s disappointment with Brown provides the most plausible motivation for his harsh 1955 letter about [the justice for whom he clerked, Robert H.] Jackson.” The article supports this theory by, among other things, reviewing Mr. Rehnquist’s letters to Justice Jackson, which were admiring and supportive until Brown and ceased after the decision was issued.
The article also contends that the 1955 letter from Mr. Rehnquist to Justice Frankfurter “would have been a bombshell” had it been revealed at the 1971 or 1986 confirmation hearings.
Perhaps. But the new evidence only buttresses information available at the time that undermined the account offered by the future chief justice....
comments powered by Disqus
- JFK's diary reveals fascination with Hitler, compared to 'legend'
- Secret South Korean Nuclear Weapons Program Created Anxiety in Washington in Mid-1970s
- The President Is Under FBI Investigation. Is This Normal?
- President Trump Praised Both Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay
- Nativism, Violence, and the Origins of the Paranoid Style
- Douglas Brinkley says there’s a "smell of treason in the air"
- Mary Maples Dunn, Advocate of Women’s Colleges and President of Smith, Dies at 85
- Gil Troy says Jews and Israelis are the victims of a “Hate Swarm”
- Eric Foner interviews Matt Karp about his new book on slaveholders
- Are historians ignoring the history of originalism?