August 2, 1986 – Entering The Era Of Rehnquist
August 2, 1986 – After three days of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, William Rehnquist had been successfully approved as Chief Justice of the United States. In the end, it was a weary Utah Senator Orrin Hatch who brought the gavel down and announced Rehnquist had finally been approved. During those three days of questioning, many had doubts over Rehnquist’s credentials and his stand on issues of race. Only the day before, five citizens who lived in Phoenix Arizona in the early 1970s swore seeing Republican Rehnquist intimidate minority voters in strong Democratic wards. Rehnquist swore he never did such a thing, so the credibility of the Chief Justice designate was on the line. Another problem was President Reagan‘s use of Executive Privilege to block Senators from seeing legal opinions Rehnquist wrote as a lawyer in the Nixon Administration. Critics indicated the documents might have shown that he approved illegal wiretapping and surveillance of Anti-Vietnam War activists. The feeling on Capitol Hill was that Rehnquist’s nomination had been hurt by all of the revelations, but probably not enough to prevent his confirmation in about a month.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent a clear message to the White House by a 15-2 vote in favor of a measure that included a number of trade sanctions against the Apartheid government in South Africa. The move assured that the full Congress would eventually pass at least some trade penalties, although President Reagan had repeatedly argued against such a move.
And after fourteen hours of non-stop bargaining, negotiators hammered out a tentative agreement for a new three-year Actors Contract in Hollywood and averting a strike which would cripple production for everything from commercials to movies. The new agreement would face final approval by the boards of Directors and the membership on August 4th.
And that’s just a sample of what happened, this August 2nd 1986, as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.