James F. Devine III The Nixon Challenge

ISBN 13: 9781512279238

The Nixon Challenge

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Richard M. Nixon, on the counsel of Dwight D. Eisenhower, has decided not to challenge the results of the 1960 Presidential election---the closest in American history---despite the urgings of the Republican Party leadership, when an unthinkable event puts the situation in a different perspective. With new evidence emerging daily that Democratic operatives in key battleground states have rigged the election, in which Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy was awarded 0.16%---100,000---more votes of the 68,000,000 cast, Nixon is under increasing Republican pressure to reconsider his decision not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court for relief. Eisenhower, too, weary of eight years of eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with the Soviets, is now under pressure from GOP leaders to reconsider his opposition to a Supreme Court challenge. An opposition based in large part on his desire to hand over the reins of government---and the nuclear codes---in a solemn, dignified, Constitutionally-prescribed manner. Will Chief Justice Earl Warren---an avowed Nixon enemy from their days in California’s rough-and- tumble post-war politics and not all that friendly with the President who appointed him---even agree to hear an appeal? How will his Supreme Court brethren react? Is the evidence as overwhelming as the outraged Republicans believe? Or is it business as usual in the hardball world of national politics? And if a case can be made: does the U.S. Constitution provide for the appeal of a Presidential election? While the Democrats, who believe the results are certified and untouchable, plan their new Administration, Ike has a constant worry: how will Nikita Khrushchev and the Soviet leadership, who already believe they are entitled to a free shot as a result of the U-2 fiasco, react to an American constitutional crisis that may look from Moscow remarkably like a Republican coup d’état? As a massive freak blizzard buries Washington in early-winter snow, the calendar keeps turns: January 6 is the Constitutionally-mandated Electoral College vote. Will the Supreme Court hear the challenge before the College meets? If so, will the Court find the GOP evidence convincing? What will---or can---the Court constitutionally order? And who will mount the Capitol Building platform on January 20th to be inaugurated by Chief Justice Warren? The nation...and the world...wonders.

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