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Bench Memos

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Delusions



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Today’s Washington Post reports that then-Justice Rehnquist suffered severe delusions in 1981 in receiving withdrawal treatment from addiction to a painkiller drug that he had received in connection with back surgery.  It could have been much worse.  He might, for example, have imagined that the Constitution deprives the American people of the power to set policy on matters like abortion, and he might have raved “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” and hallucinated that that gibberish was a defining principle of constitutional law.  Fortunately, Rehnquist recovered quickly from his delusions.

 

Tags: Whelan


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