Rehnquist Has Died

May he rest in peace.
And boy hasn’t this been a hell of a week.
THS: If I might add Bless his heart and God rest his soul. Our sincere sympathies to his family and all who loved him.

3 Responses to “Rehnquist Has Died”

  1. Dave J says:

    He was an intensely private man, and as I understand it never really recovered from his wife’s death. First in his class at Stanford notwithstanding, he was neither the brains on the Court nor the archconservatievg some portrayed him as, but of all his colleagues in the time he spent, he was the one most suited to be Chief: he ran a tight and fair ship; he had a deep and abiding respect for the history of the Court as an institution; and he took his other responsibilities as the head of the entire federal judicial branch seriously, advocating for them before Congress on a regular basis in a way that many more self-important judges would have regarded as beneath them.
    I consider myself extremely privileged and fortunate to have taken a class on the Court’s history taught by Chief Justice Rehnquist during the six weeks I spent in Tulane’s summer program at McGill, in Montreal. He was a true lawyer’s lawyer (and that’s meant as a compliment), and he will be missed.

  2. Quite a gentlemen and jurist.
    (Damn Dave, how cool was that?)

  3. Dave J says:

    It certainly was cool. I never actually spoke with him one-on-one, but one of the things that people who knew him from more than just his opinions will, I think, remember most about him is that he had a very dry sense of humor, and a quick warm smile rarely seen in his official photos. He was private, yes, but friendly too, and known for getting along with people with whom he had professional disagreements: just for one example, once she was appointed, I understand that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband quickly became close friends of the Rehnquists.
    Having met a couple of them, his clerks loved him: he treated them like family. I feel sorry for John Roberts in that he won’t have the opportunity to serve on the Court for even one term alongside the justice he clerked for, which would have been unprecedented. As things stand, I believe he will still be the first fourth-generation clerk in the Court’s history, since Rehnquist clerked for Justice Jackson, who in turn clerked for Justice Holmes.

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