52 U. Chi. L. Rev. 284 (1985)
Attorney General Edward H. Levi; Ford, Gerald R.

handle is hein.journals/uclr52 and id is 298 raw text is: Attorney General Edward H. Levi

Gerald R. Fordt
Edward H. Levi, Attorney General during my administration,
is a man whom I hold in highest regard and whom I feel honored
to have had in my cabinet. When he took over the Department of
Justice, he faced the challenge of a heavy load of controversial,
complicated, and politically sensitive problems. When Ed Levi de-
parted the Department, he had successfully met the challenge.
Under his thoughtful, nonpolitical, and highly principled leader-
ship, the integrity and effectiveness of the Department of Justice
were restored. Our nation is greatly indebted to him. I thank Ed
Levi for his superb public service and personal friendship, which I
In the early 1970's, Watergate and the Vietnam War had a
devastating impact on the record and morale of the Department of
Justice. Allegations of partisan politics were rampant. Relations
with Congress were at a low ebb. The Federal Bureau of Investiga-
tion had gone through a disturbing era. United States intelligence
and counterintelligence activities were being seriously challenged
by Congress, the news media, and the public.
A vacancy in the Department of Justice opened up on Decem-
ber 12, 1974, upon the resignation of William B. Saxbe, a former
United States Senator from Ohio, who had become Attorney Gen-
eral on January 4, 1974, during the critical days of the Watergate
turmoil. I subsequently appointed Bill Saxbe ambassador to India,
where he served most ably. In my judgment, a new attorney gen-
eral in the Ford Administration had to be someone of unques-
tioned integrity and impeccable legal abilities and background and
ought to come from outside the traditional political arena.
On December 5, 1974, I first met Ed Levi. A slim, short, how-
tied, courtly gentleman came to the Oval Office accompanied by
Donald Rumsfeld, my White House Chief of Staff. Don and Philip
W. Buchen, the White House Chief Counsel, had agreed that my
administration needed an attorney general who would be different,
someone highly respected in the legal profession and uninhibited
t President of the United States, 1974-1976.

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