Chapter 1: Introduction: The Backstory
The heart of the story of William Rehnquist's appointment to the Supreme Court begins on September 17, 1971, and ends with an announcement on October 21, 1971. That story begins in the next chapter. First, it is important to understand the backstory.
It is well known that Richard Nixon made extraordinary use and abuse of his presidential powers. It is not widely known that those uses and abuses also related to the Supreme Court. More than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt, he worked hard to mold the Court to his political liking. That meant not only making conservative appointments; it also...