Statement by the President Upon Withdrawing the Nomination of Justice Abe Fortas as Chief Justice of the United States
WITH DEEP REGRET I have accepted and concur in the request of Mr. Justice Fortas and am withdrawing his nomination as Chief Justice of the United States. I believed when I made this nomination, and I believe now, that he is the best qualified man for this high position. The action of the Senate, a body I revere and to which I devoted a dozen years of my life, is historically and constitutionally tragic.
I urge all involved with and concerned about our Constitution and its form of government to pledge now that this shall be no precedent, that the Senate hereafter will act by majority will and never fail to address itself to the issues which it has the constitutional duty to answer.
Note: The President's statement was in response to Justice Abe Fortas' letter of October 1, 1968, requesting withdrawal of his nomination as Chief Justice following the Senate's failure to end the filibuster against consideration of the nomination.
For a statement by the President declining to submit an additional nomination for the office of Chief Justice, see Item 527.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Withdrawing the Nomination of Justice Abe Fortas as Chief Justice of the United States Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/237292