Judge Rehnquist: Thug on drugs

Well, this was a shocker. Heh.

Newly-released FBI files have given more details on William Rehnquist’s dependence on strong painkillers while he was a US Supreme Court judge.

Mr Rehnquist, who later became chief justice, is said to have been taking up to three times the prescribed dosage.

When he stopped taking Placidyl, he suffered withdrawal symptoms. The records say he tried to escape from hospital in his pyjamas.


[…]

Mr Rehnquist went into hospital in 1981, after his doctor tried to substitute Placidyl with other prescription drugs.

The judge – who appears to have suffered from chronic back pain and insomnia – had said the new medication was not strong enough, his doctor told the FBI.

The doctor is also reported to have said that Mr Rehnquist had taken Placidyl for about 10 years and that his increased consumption may have coincided with his wife’s treatment for cancer.

The FBI files also reveal that his withdrawal symptoms included imagining that the CIA was plotting against him.

According to the Beeb, Rehnquist was nominated to the SCOTUS after “his problems with the prescription drugs had ended”–which is a nice way of saying after he got into detox.

But once an addict, always an addict, and who knows what he was on when he did this?

Let’s begin at the beginning. Rehnquist bragged about being first in his class at Stanford Law School. Today Stanford is a great law school with a diverse student body, but in the late 1940s and early 1950s, it discriminated against Jews and other minorities, both in the admission of students and in the selection of faculty. Justice Stephen Breyer recalled an earlier period of Stanford’s history: "When my father was at Stanford, he could not join any of the social organizations because he was Jewish, and those organizations, at that time, did not accept Jews." Rehnquist not only benefited in his class ranking from this discrimination; he was also part of that bigotry. When he was nominated to be an associate justice in 1971, I learned from several sources who had known him as a student that he had outraged Jewish classmates by goose-stepping and heil-Hitlering with brown-shirted friends in front of a dormitory that housed the school’s few Jewish students. He also was infamous for telling racist and anti-Semitic jokes.

Then again, he may have been proverbially, judicially sober at the time. Either way, it’s reprehensible–as is this:

The guy called himself Bill. He knew the law and applied it with the precision of a swordsman. He sat at the table at the Bethune School, a polling place brimming with black citizens, and quizzed voters ad nauseam about where they were from, how long they’d lived there — every question in the book. A passage of the Constitution was read and people who spoke broken English were ordered to interpret it to prove they had the language skills to vote.

By the time Pena arrived at Bethune, he said, the line to vote was four abreast and a block long. People were giving up and going home.

Pena told the guy to leave. They got into an argument. Shoving followed. Arizona politics can be raw.

Finally, Pena said, the guy raised a fist as if he was fixing to throw a punch.

“I said ‘If that’s what you want, I’ll get someone to take you out of here’ “

Party leaders told him not to get physical, but this was the second straight election in which Republicans had sent out people to intellectually rough up the voters. The project even had a name: Operation Eagle Eye.

Eagle Eye, eh? Sounds more like Addled Eye to me.

More dirt on Hizzoner at ThoughtCrimes.

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