William Hubbs Rehnquist, 1924-2005

By September 4, 2005General

Judicial NominationsJust wanted to put up a brief word to commemorate the passing of Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. What a remarkable jurist, what a remarkable career. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard, he clerked himself for Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson. He served as Assistant Attorney General of the US from 69-71 and was nominated by President Nixon to the Supreme Court and became an Associate Justice in 1972. He was elevated to Chief Justice by President Reagan in 1986.

The Rehnquist Court will be known as one of the great Courts of all time. While historians speak of the great liberal tradition of the old days, Rehnquist ushered in the great conservative tradition, a far more moderate court and far more inclined to interpret the law as written. In his career, he was part of any number of landmark cases and presided over one Presidential impeachment. Personally, Rehnquist’s commitment to and affection for the Court was unmatched. His dedication to the judiciary and to his colleagues, to the traditions and the integrity of the Supreme Court were unequaled.

Late Saturday he lost his battle with thyroid cancer. We will keep him and his loved ones in our thoughts and prayers, as a nation prepares to mourn the passing of a man who was unmistakably one of the great jurists of the last century. Friends and foes would agree that he left a mark far greater than most. We are grateful for his service and mourn the passing of a father, a husband, a jurist and a patriot.

Here’s a link to the AP story and here’s a link to the biography of this extraordinary man.