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 attorneys general of the modern era. Published here for the first time, his speeches offer a superb sense of the man and his work.
Edward H. Levi (1911-2000) was attorney general of the United States from 1975 to 1977, president of the University of Chicago, and dean of the University of Chicago Law School. Jack Fuller served as editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his journalism. He was special assistant to Edward H. Levi in the Department of Justice and is the author of What Is Happening to News.