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Sunday, February 09, 2020


I would like to tell a story that I've not shared in public before. In the Spring of 1994, I met Chief Justice William Rehnquist. I was an undergraduate at Stanford and was enrolled for a quarter in Stanford's Washington DC Program. The Chief Justice was a Stanford alumnus and came to meet the students. (There were about 20 of us and it was a private event.)

The Chief Justice was introduced by a man (whose name I do not recall) who was one of the Rehnquist's roommates when he lived in DC and was clerking for Justice Robert H. Jackson. In the introduction, the man talked about how he and Rehnquist used to argue about everything in the news back then, with a specific mention of  "racial segregation," and that "Bill always won."

I vividly remember that upon hearing this line the Chief grimaced and looked sort of distracted. It then occurred to me why. Either his roommate had said "I was for racial segregation and Bill convinced me otherwise" or the opposite. And the look on the Chief's face indicated it was the opposite.

Thus, when I read discussions about the meaning of Rehnquist's memo to Justice Jackson on Brown v. Board of Education, I feel sure that I know the correct answer, though of course my recollection of the Stanford event is not irrefutable proof. 

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on February 9, 2020 at 02:10 PM | Permalink


Since all Trump voters got a copy of Rehnquist's memo to Justice Jackson on Brown v. Board when they voted and immediately put in up on the fireplace next to Mao's little red book, it makes sense that we spend so much time talking about it.

Everyone learns it in kindergarten and can recite it by heart before they learn to tie their shoes.

It is simply far more influential than the bible or the communist manifesto of the Affordable Care Act.

If you ask people on the street who has influenced their life more than anyone else, they'll say Our Lord and Savior Justice Rehnquist and in his letter to Justice Jackson and the Corinthians.

It is why human history is divided up into Before the Memo (B.M.) and After the Memo (A.M.). People who were born before the memo have an impossible time even remembering what life was life before God came down to earth through Rehnquist to deliver us.

Posted by: Babylon Beesknees | Feb 11, 2020 10:29:09 AM

Are people still required to read Rehnquist's memo to Justice Jackson on Brown v. Board of Education when they register to vote?

I'd be terrified to live in a country where registered voters were unaware of the single most important document in world history that single-handedly shaped western civilization and made the gospels historically irrelevant and obsolete.

Posted by: Abraham Chevrolet | Feb 9, 2020 4:25:06 PM

Because of Brown v. Board, Native Americans can no longer be denied admission to white schools and since Native Americans are so happy at white public schools, I doubt this is going to change any time soon, even though Justice Rehnquist was put back on the supreme court.

Posted by: Southern Strawman | Feb 9, 2020 2:26:58 PM

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