Perhaps more than the 1960s, the early 1970s marked the high water mark of the liberal consensus. Roe v. Wade, which grounded the right to abortion in the right to privacy, represented the apex of rights-based liberalism and perpetuated the division between public and private, a crucial facet to liberalism. As President, Nixon often governed liberally even though he talked conservatively, and thus many conservatives regarded him as a traitor. The rise of the modern Republican Party and the right was highly contingent: When Nixon resigned, both the Republican Party and conservatives seemed even more divided, endangered, and mired in scandal than they did after the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. In this Article, I discuss a critical time for those forces and the rule of law, the first month of the Ford Presidency.
Gerald Ford, the Nixon Pardon, and the Rise of the Right ,
58 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol58/iss2/5