Friday, July 08, 2005

Historical Perspective on the Haynsworth Nomination

My good friend Matthew Richardson forwarded this memo written by William Rehnquist. The memo was written in 1969 when Rehnquist was evaluating potential Supreme Court nominees for President Nixon. It is an evaluation of Fourth Circuit Judge Clement Haynsworth. Rehnquist endorsed him as a strict constructionist. The memo provides historical insight into the selection process and insight into Chief Justice Rehnquist's thinking about the law.

Haynsworth was eventually nominated to the Supreme Court by President Nixon to replace Abe Fortas. Haynsworth was defeated by a 55-45 vote--19 Democrats and 26 Republicans voted for Haynsworth while 38 Democrats and 17 Republicans voted against the nomination. Haynsworth was the first Supreme Court nominee since John J. Parker to be defeated by the Senate.

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