In the fall of 1971, when William Rehnquist was nominated to fill an Associate Justice seat on the Supreme Court, the Senate raised no major objections, and a little-known Assistant Attorney General found himself at the pinnacle of the judiciary.
It seemed a straightforward choice of a relatively young, academically outstanding and politically seasoned lawyer who shared Richard Nixon's philosophy of "strict constructionism." As Nixon's White House Counsel, John Dean reveals for the first time that the choice was anything but straightforward. The truth is that Rehnquist's nomination was the result of a dramatic, Nixonian roller coaster. Rehnquist was a last-minute longshot who had once been dismissed by Nixon as a "clown." Only John Dean - Rehnquist's champion at the time - knows the full, improbable story.
Dean's gripping tale is loaded with revelations, such as Nixon's plan to pack the court by forcing resignations - before his inauguration.
Using newly released White House tapes, and thousands of previously unseen documents, Dean puts listeners directly in the Oval Office with Nixon, Haldeman, Ehrlichmann, Mitchell, Rehnquist, and the candidates they considered.
The Rehnquist Choice fills in a long-missing explanation of the making of the man who wrote the majority opinion in Bush v. Gore and presided over the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton.
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