Rehnquist, Like Everyone Else, Spent the Entire '70s High
His drug of choice: Placidyl, a "highly toxic" painkiller not meant to be prescribed for long periods of time. Like, say, 1970 through 1981, the amount of time the late Supreme Court Chief Justice spent popping it. Things got a little hairy for Rehnquist, as they did for all the other drug fiends, come the dark days of Reagan:
When Rehnquist checked into a hospital in 1981 for a weeklong stay, doctors stopped administering the drug, causing what a hospital spokesman at the time said was a "disturbance in mental clarity."
The FBI file, citing one of his physicians, said Rehnquist experienced withdrawal symptoms that included trying to escape the facility and discerning changes in the patterns on the hospital curtains. The justice also thought he heard voices outside his room discussing various plots against him.
Does this explain his goofy-ass Gilbert & Sullivan Chief Justice costume? Also, does this make him the best SCOTUS Chief Justice ever? Unless we find out Earl Warren was zonked out on angel dust for a decade, it just might.
FBI: Rehnquist withdrew from painkillers [AP via CNN]