The Richard Nixon Foundation and National Archives co-presented a Nixon Legacy Forum on President Nixon’s Supreme Court nominations Thursday.
Hosted at the Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater in Washington, Participants included Nixon Speechwriter Pat Buchanan, and White House, administration, and congressional legal experts Wally Johnson, G. Robert Blakey,  Earl Silbert, and Fred Fielding. The five discussed the politics surrounding the nominations of William H. Rehnquist and Lewis F. Powell, and the impact of their decisions on American jurisprudence, especially on matters of criminal justice.

“I consider my four appointments to the Supreme Court to have been among the most constructive and far-reaching actions of my presidency,” President Nixon later recalled in his memoirs. “It is true that the men I appointed shared my conservative judicial philosophy and significantly affected the balance of power that had developed on the Warren Court. But as individuals they were each dedicated and able constitutional lawyers who often disagreed on major cases.”

Photo courtesy of Bruce Guthrie: At the National Archives in Washington D.C., participants of the 15th Nixon Legacy Forum, Nixon and the Court, listen to vintage footage of President Nixon on October 21, 1971 announcing the nominations of Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court.