President Nixon yesterday nominated Judge Harry A. Blackmun '29-graduate of the Law School-to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.
The selection of Judge Blackmun, who is a native of Minnesota, is in line with Nixon's pledge last week that his next nominee would be from outside of the South. Nixon contended then that his first two nominees, Clement L. Haynsworth Jr. of South Carolina and G. Harrold Carswell of Florida were not confirmed because they were Southerners.
A 'Strict Constructionist'
Judge Blackmun. a 61-year-old Republican, sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He is regarded in legal circles as a liberal on civil rights issues and a conservative on matters concerning the legal rights of criminal suspects. Ron Ziegler, presidential press secretary, said yesterday that Nixon considers Judge Blackmun to be a "strict constructionist."
Judge Blackmun recently ordered a West Memphis Tennessee school district to take action to achieve racial balance among its students and to desegregate its faculty. He has written opinions rejecting arguments challenging the constitutionality of capital punishment.
"My impression from reading his opinions is that he is a competent, intelligent man," commented Richand Field '26, Story Professor of Law Field added that Blackmun "would probably be confirmed rather easily, not because he is not from the South, but because he doesn't appear to have the prior disabilities that the other two nominees had."
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearings a week after the nomination is formally submitted to the Senate. If Blackmun is confirmed, he will complete the nine-man makeup of the Court. The Court has recently postponed hearing many cases, apparently fearing a deadlock among the eight members.
Blackmun was appointed to the Eighth Court of Appeals by President Eisenhower in 1959.