Skip to comments.Lawyers, justices honor Rehnquist in D.C.
Posted on 06/15/2006 3:38:33 PM PDT by new yorker 77
The late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist was praised Thursday by lawyers who practice before the Supreme Court as a man of sharp intellect, quick wit and love of family and friends.
Rehnquist, who died last September after a long battle with throat cancer, served nearly 34 years on the court first as an associate justice and then as chief justice.
During a special session of the high court, Chief Justice John Roberts, a former Rehnquist law clerk, praised his predecessor not only for his contributions to the law but also for "knowing what was important in life."
Speaker after speaker at the tribute described how Rehnquist made it home nearly every night for dinner and took summer vacations with his wife and children throughout his career.
They also described an unpretentious man who reveled in his anonymity despite the key position he held in government.
Allen R. Snyder, a former Rehnquist law clerk, remembered Rehnquist's delight when tourists asked him to take snapshots of them in front of the court, having no clue who he was.
Rehnquist, who often wore Hush Puppies with business suits, was the only person Roberts said he'd ever seen get down on his stomach to line up a shot in croquet.
A trivia buff, tennis player and friendly gambler, Rehnquist loved history and geography and liked to bet on how much snow would fall.
The former chief justice ran the court as a firm taskmaster and was famous for cutting off lawyers in mid-sentence when their time expired.
Early in his tenure on the court, Rehnquist often found himself the lone dissenter. But in time, Rehnquist's views on criminal law, states' rights and religion became the focus of majority opinions.
Maureen Mahoney, one of the most frequent practitioners before the high court, said Rehnquist was not the sexist conservative that some groups painted him after President Reagan nominated him to be chief justice. She said Rehnquist appointed her to her first case before the high court.
Mahoney recalled that Rehnquist told an interviewer how his wife, Nan, reacted when she learned of his nomination to be chief justice. "She replied, 'Put the dishes in the dishwasher.'"
On the Net:
Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourtus.gov
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Rest in peace.
I read in today's paper that it was 20 years ago today (September 17, 1986) that the Senate confirmed William H. Rehnquist to be the 16th Chief Justice of the United States (succeeded, of course, by one of his previous clerks, John G. Roberts).
The neighborhood had a dinner last night and some new people who moved here have a daughter at Clemson. Their daughter is dating the son of the former assistant special counsel to Bush (I think that was his title) and now he's head of Ford Motor Co.
The son has mentioned visiting their friends, the Rehnquists. Now of course, they just visit younger family members but he's spoken glowingly about the SC Justice.