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Monday, October 28, 2013

Burger & Nixon chatting about pornography, busing, and aging congressmen

A friend sent me a link to the tape of a January 1973 phone conversation between President Nixon and Chief Justice Burger.  So far as I can tell, Nixon and was simply returning Burger's "Happy New Year!" call.  They talk for a bit about the Court's then-pending pornography case (Miller, I assume?) and Nixon also asks if there are any other big cases brewing.  He asks about busing, but not -- interestingly! -- about another case decided in January of 1973 that was a pretty big deal.

In the course of an exchange about aging justices and members of Congress, the Chief Justice notes that the "young" one who had recently joined the Court was "a real star."   

Posted by Rick Garnett on October 28, 2013 at 04:28 PM in Rick Garnett | Permalink


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You mean Renchburg?

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Oct 28, 2013 5:39:20 PM

Whenever I get a student's name wrong in class, I tell the Nixon-Renchburg story and urge him/her to keep alive any dreams of becoming Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Similarly amusing story: to get Ronald Dworkin a Supreme Court clerkship, Learned Hand wrote Felix Frankfurter a letter calling Dworkin both (1) "the law clerk to beat all law clerks," and (2) "Roland."

Posted by: Brendan Maher | Oct 29, 2013 11:20:53 PM

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