Thursday, September 7, 2023

the last book I ever read (Gerald R. Ford: The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977, excerpt three)

from Gerald R. Ford: The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977 by Douglas Brinkley:

The scventy-one-year-old Douglas had sat on the Court since Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him in 1939. Douglas had a long and distinguished history on the bench, but his support for civil liberties and environmental conservation rankled many conservatives. The right wing also didn’t cotton to the justice’s bon-vivant lifestyle. Douglas was an obstreperous, hard-drinking womanizer who lived far beyond his salary. He made up for that in part by writing books, most of them about his travels to exotic spots around the globe. But Douglas’s 1969 book, Points of Rebellion, analyzed and for the most part defended the rising protest movement against the Vietnam War.

Gerald Ford had been incensed by the antiwar protests for years, seeing in them “the seeds of Communist activity.” In 1968, he strongly supported passage of the Campus Disorders Act, which aimed to withhold federal subsidies from any student who took part in campus protests. When Points of Rebellion came out in 1969, Ford was so outraged by it that he launched an investigation into its author. That November, Ford made the shocking announcement that he was drawing up plans to impeach Douglas. It was an unprecedented assault on a justice of the Supreme Court by a member of the congressional leadership.

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