Ford on Affirmative Action

Jeff Toobin reminds us of another admirable aspect of former President Gerald Ford - his commitment to a diverse America and a first rate Supreme Court:

[Ford] wrote an Op-Ed article on this page titled “Inclusive America, Under Attack.” A pair of pending lawsuits, Mr. Ford wrote, would prohibit Michigan and other universities “from even considering race as one of many factors weighed by admission counselors.” Such a move would condemn “future college students to suffer the cultural and social impoverishment that afflicted my generation.”

As it happened, on Sept. 15, 1999, a month after the article ran, Mr. Ford had dinner with James M. Cannon, one of his former White House aides, in Grand Rapids, Mich. The men were in town to hear a speech at Mr. Ford’s presidential museum by his only nominee to the Supreme Court, John Paul Stevens.

By that point, Justice Stevens had long since proved a great disappointment to conservatives. But his nomination remained one of Mr. Ford’s proudest achievements as president, for Justice Stevens’ moderate-to-liberal record reflected Mr. Ford’s own later views, as his stand on affirmative action illustrated. At the dinner, Mr. Ford encouraged Mr. Cannon to do what he could to help the university in the lawsuit, which was heading for the Supreme Court.

I often forget that Gerald Ford named Stevens to the bench. The most important Justice holds back the reactionary tide thanks to Gerald Ford.

His most important legacy. Something to be remembered.

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    Mr Ford (2.00 / 1) (#1)
    by proudleftists on Sat Dec 30, 2006 at 12:25:31 PM EST
    I am sure that Paul Stevens was a great disappointnment to Ford and the GOP, but Jerry Ford was a major disappoinment to the American people by pardoning Richard Nixon. If by pardoning Nixon Mr. Ford helped heal the country, why was he not reelected ? His pardoning of Richard Nixon and for his antics on the Warren Commission Mr. Ford's reputation will and should tarnished.

    Yep (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 03:43:34 PM EST
    His pardon allowed the culture of political corruption to continue unchecked by the criminal trial of the most powerful criminal in the country.

    I am amazed how thin the logic of people who suggest it saved the country from something.  The only thing it saved us from is actually addressing the crime, the criminal, and setting the example that needed to be set.  Nixon should've spent the rest of his life in jail.  Period.


    Stevens replaced Douglas (none / 0) (#2)
    by Zeno on Sat Dec 30, 2006 at 01:32:32 PM EST
    There's quite a story in Ford's appointment of John Paul Stevens. For one thing, Stevens was appointed to the seat vacated by William O. Douglas. For another, while House minority leader, Ford led an impeachment crusade against Douglas (probably at the behest of Nixon, disappointed by his failure to get either Haynesworth or Carswell on the Supreme Court; that spot eventually went to Blackmun).

    Remember Ford flapping a girlie magazine in front of the TV cameras? I do. Douglas had published an article in it, and Ford was arguing that it was an impeachable offense. Ford may have been a nice guy most of the time, but he was also spent time shilling for some of the worse elements of the GOP.

    Let's hope (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 30, 2006 at 06:40:39 PM EST
    that Stevens lasts at least another two years.

    From Jim Crow to Michigan (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Dec 30, 2006 at 09:06:20 PM EST

    From Jim Crow to Michigan the Democrat party has stood four square for racial preferences for its constituencies.  Constituencies change with time, but the politics of racial spoils lives on.