A lot of us here at "360" began the day fascinated with the story about the newly-released FBI files on former Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. For those who have not read the details
: For nearly 10 years, Justice Rehnquist had been taking a prescribed medication, Placidyl, to help with insomnia caused by his chronic back pain.
Apparently, the then associate justice was taking three-times the prescribed dosage. People who heard him on the bench began wondering about Rehnquist's slurred speech, and in 1981 -- five years before he was nominated for chief justice -- he checked into George Washington University Hospital to help get off the Placidyl. Withdrawal was difficult and caused delirium, with Rehnquist in one episode trying to escape the hospital in his pajamas because he believed the CIA was after him.
There are so many medical questions: How exactly does Placidyl work? What are the long term effects of it? How does one over-medicate with it? And how in the world could that ever happen to a Supreme Court justice? (It could be as simple as, if Rehnquist was asking for the medication, what physician would say "no" to a Supreme Court justice?) Who better to answer all these questions than our "360" MD, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who will join Anderson tonight at 10 p.m. ET.
And what about the broader legal questions? What about the many, many cases he ruled on during that decade when he might have been impaired because of the medications? Our chief legal correspondent, Jeffrey Toobin, points out there is no appealing a Supreme Court decision. After all, it is the Supreme Court, and it takes a majority of justices to make a decision. But Jeff also points out Rehnquist again raises the question of life-terms versus term-limits for Supreme Court justices. He reminds us that Justice William O. Douglas suffered a serious stroke toward the end of his legal career, and yet he refused to step-down. The law dictates the only way to remove a Supreme Court justice is impeachment. So Jeff will also join Anderson tonight to chew on all of this.
We've also spent a lot of time here talking about a remarkable story Anderson shot recently. It's about an army sergeant deployed to Iraq before his son was born. To be closer to his baby, Charles Monroe King began writing letters to him -- advice and from a father to his son: "Remember who taught you to speak, to walk, to be a gentleman. These are your first teachers my little prince. Protect them, embrace them and always treat them like a queen."
During his tour First Sgt. King wrote all of these thoughts in a journal for little Jordan. When you read about this in his wife's account in the New York Times
and hear Anderson's story tonight, you'll no doubt be touched, as I was, by this father's love for his son.
Finally, later today and through the weekend I encourage you to read and comment on correspondent Jeff Koinange's blog post on his visit with Oprah at her new girls academy in South Africa. It is an amazing story: A good Samaritan flying across the world to provide education, hope and a future for kids who never guessed they'd ever see anything like this.
Jeff's post, which we'll publish later today, is a great preview of the hour special we are running Monday night, 10 p.m. ET. Anderson interviewed Oprah via satellite about what she is doing, and why, and we've had Jeff and his crew shooting stories of the girls' lives and what the school means to them. You'll see from Jeff's blog that our time with Oprah in South Africa will be one of those hours you'll want to share with others.