The Rehnquist Court

Archive Report

Wooing Conservative Votes

Time was running out when President Reagan finally got his chance to reshape the Supreme Court into the conservative bench he wishes to bequeath to the nation when he leaves the White House.

Despite predictions dating back to Reagan's first year of office that the advanced age of several sitting justices virtually assured him several Supreme Court appointments, it was not until six years into his presidency that Reagan got the opportunity to place his second justice on the bench, thereby giving the court's conservative wing what could be a decisive force in split decisions.

On balance, the administration's effort to advance its conservative social agenda in the Supreme Court that was presided over by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger until his retirement in ...

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