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Restoring Justice

The Speeches of Attorney General Edward H. Levi

Edited by Jack Fuller
With a Foreword by Larry Kramer
In the wake of Watergate, Gerald Ford appointed eminent lawyer and scholar Edward H. Levi to the post of attorney general—and thus gave him the onerous task of restoring legitimacy to a discredited Department of Justice. Levi was famously fair-minded and free of political baggage, and his inspired addresses during this tumultuous time were critical to rebuilding national trust. They reassured a tense and troubled nation that the Department of Justice would act in accordance with the principles underlying its name, operating as a nonpartisan organization under the strict rule of law.

For Restoring Justice, Jack Fuller has carefully chosen from among Levi’s speeches a selection that sets out the attorney general’s view of the considerable challenges he faced: restoring public confidence through discussion and acts of justice, combating the corrosive skepticism of the time, and ensuring that the executive branch would behave judicially. Also included are addresses and Congressional testimonies that speak to issues that were hotly debated at the time, including electronic surveillance, executive privilege, separation of powers, antitrust enforcement, and the guidelines governing the FBI—many of which remain relevant today.         
Serving at an almost unprecedentedly difficult time, Levi was among the most admired attorney generals of the modern era. Published here for the first time, the speeches in Restoring Justice offer a superb sense of the man and his work.

248 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2013

Law and Legal Studies: General Legal Studies, Legal History

Political Science: Judicial Politics


“It was Edward H. Levi’s first and overwhelming task as attorney general to end the cynicism of Watergate. This wonderful collection of his speeches shows how he did it: with eloquent words that expressed his profound belief in American values. In our time of meanness and strife, Levi reminds us what we should be.”

Anthony Lewis

"Edward H. Levi was one of the greatest attorneys general in American history. In a few short years, he restored the credibility of a Department of Justice that had been deeply damaged. He did this through his polices, his person, and his words. It was a monumental achievement. Restoring Justice reconnects us with that post-Watergate era and with the style, substance, and extraordinary speeches of Edward H. Levi. It reveals to us the very best our American government has to offer."

Geoffrey R. Stone, University of Chicago Law School

Table of Contents

Editor’s Introduction
A Note on the Text
Editor’s Introduction
A Note on the Text

Chapter 1. A Crisis of Legitimacy
A Great Trust Waiting to be Reawakened
Security, Power and Equality
The Damaging Cycle
A Burden of Mistrust
Acting Judicially
Leading the Camel

Chapter 2. The Constitution and the Idea of Law
An Approach to Law
In the Service of the Republic
A Lawyer among Humanists
The Rule of Law
A Period of Agony and Triumph
Giving Bigotry No Sanction
The Tone of Our Asking
A Constitution Born in Doubt
The Infinite Task

Chapter 3. Governing by Discussion
Government Basic Rights and the Citizenry
The Legal Framework for Electronic Surveillance
A Proposed National Security Surveillance Statute
Government Confidentiality and Individual Privacy
Some Aspects of Separation of Powers
The Ideal of Political and Economic Democracy
Guidelines for the FBI

Appendix: FBI Guidelines of Domestic Security Investigation

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