Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Speaking Ill of the Dead

Before you get too teary about the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist, you might want to consider some details about his splotchy past:

From a New Yorker article by Jeffrey Toobin:
During the Senate hearings on William Rehnquist’s nomination as Chief Justice, in 1986, a number of witnesses testified that in the early nineteen-sixties Rehnquist, then a lawyer in private practice and a Republican political activist, had harassed black and Latino voters at Arizona polling places, demanding to know if they were “qualified to vote.” (Rehnquist denied doing so.)

Residents of Arizona recall "Bill's" involvement in Project Eagle Eye in Arizona's Indymedia:

Back in 1962, when William Rehnquist was a young attorney in Arizona, he led a group of Republican lawyers who systematically challenged the right of minority voters to cast their ballots in that state. Called Operation Eagle Eye, Rehnquist successfully disenfranchised hundreds of black and brown voters in Phoenix's poor and working class precincts.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist's refusal to acknowledge evidence of blatant voter fraud against African Americans in 2000 was no surprise. Back in 1962, when Rehnquist was a young attorney in Arizona, he led a group of Republican lawyers who systematically challenged the right of minority voters to cast their ballots in that state. Called Operation Eagle Eye, Rehnquist successfully disenfranchised hundreds of black and brown voters in Phoenix's poor and working class precincts. In 2000, Rehnquist supervised the disenfranchisement, in effect, of the majority of American voters.

And, in this week's Newsweek:
As a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson in the early 1950s, he wrote a memo that the Supreme Court should affirm the “separate but equal” Southern school systems and that it was “about time the Court faced the fact that the white people in the South don’t like colored people.” Rehnquist later distanced himself from this memo, saying that Justice Jackson had asked him to make the best case for segregation (even though Jackson voted against it).

And the goofy gold braid on his robe? He had it sewn on after seeing a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's musical Iolanthe.

Huh.

1 Comments:

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Mike said...

You're definitely going to have to install that spam comment filter...

... anyway, about Rehnquist, I'm expecting that, beneath that flag on his coffin, you'll see gold bars spiffing it up.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home