Mr. Justice Powell and the Emerging Nixon Majority

In recent years, we have come to expect the debate over Supreme Court nominations to reflect ideological passions in the Government and the country at large; the Fortas, Haynsworth, and Carswell cases remain fresh in memory. In the hearings on the nominations of Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and William H. Rehnquist to the Court, Senate Democratic liberals made clear their intention to probe not only the nominees’ integrity and legal qualifications, but also their judicial philosophies. It was ironic, therefore, to watch as liberal members of the Judiciary Committee, through their questions and comments at the confirmation hearings, made Powell, the conservative appointee of a Republican President, look even larger than life.