During his time on the bench, the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist was called racially insensitive and clandestine. We don’t cast judgement here; however, his writings do seem to suggest he had quite the sense of humor.
A letter among his papers at the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University contained the following remarks about African American concerns regarding Rehnquist’s singing Dixie and the lack of minority Supreme Court Law Clerks.
Rehnquist said, “I really feel that it does not bode well for race relations in this country if people constantly strain to find some basis for taking offense.” Rehnquist continued, “I am also glad that you agree with the Court’s position as to the hiring of minority law clerks; the pool of applicants whom we consider is not a large one, and there are not many minorities in it. I think some of our critics, because the position uses the term ‘clerk,’ imagine that it is some sort of entry level position, which of course it is not.”
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