• John B. Anderson, a rigorously conservative Illinois congressman who gradually became more pragmatic and then liberal on social issues, eventually running a quixotic and unsuccessful third-party presidential campaign against Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1980, died on Sunday. He was 95.

Obituaries remind us that early in his career, Anderson proposed a Constitutional amendment saying that the United States “devoutly recognizes the authority and law of Jesus Christ, Savior and Ruler of Nations.” It was a proposal that he later disavowed.

Anderson’s presidential campaign in 1980 supported both the Equal Rights Amendment and higher gas taxes that would help the country wean itself off as reliance on foreign oil. He also became a supporter of the civil rights movement and the fair Housing Act. The Wall Street Journal this morning writes that Anderson in 1978 said that “extremist fringe elements” of the Republican Party were seeking to mount an “ideological coup d’etat,” which eventually would throw the GOP into the “historical junk heap.”