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William H. Rehnquist, R.I.P.
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Via, Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies at Home.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died Saturday evening at his home in suburban Virginia, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg.

A statement from the spokeswoman said he was surrounded by his three children when he died in Arlington.

“The Chief Justice battled thyroid cancer since being diagnosed last October and continued to perform his dues on the court until a precipitous decline in his health the last couple of days,” she said.

*Bush expresses sadness…Alan Dershowitz calls Rehnquist a “Republican thug”SoCal Law blog tracks more unhinged Left reax

*Key dates in Rehnquist’s careerAP bio boxKey decisions

* Joan Biskupic/USA TodayCharles Lane/WaPoLinda Greenhouse/NYT


Flashback : Rehnquist the Great? by Jeffrey Rosen, The Atlantic April 2005.


Blogger reax:

The Spoons Experience:

This changes everything. All hell’s about to break loose. Bush’s approval ratings are almost certainly taking a beating over New Orleans, and he just won’t have the political capital to fight for a good pick.

Paradoxically, New Orleans probably makes it all the more important that Bush make and fight for good picks — bec[au]se New Orleans makes it all the more likely that the GOP will lose the White House in ’08.

I predict bad things.

I think Spoons may be right.

Josh Trevino says the stakes are high, the timing is bad, and President Bush must keep faith with the faithful.

Ann Althouse: I am stunned.

Law student blogger Emily Zanotti reflects.

John Cole: My head is reeling.

Will Baude: Stop all the clocks.

See also Confirm Them.

Check in to the Supreme Court Nomination Blog and Volokh Conspiracy for reax.

The Coalition for a Fair Judiciary mourns Rehnquist’s passing. Kay Daly writes:

“Our deepest condolences to the Rehnquist family for their loss. And for the nation, it is the end of an era,” said Kay Daly, president of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary. “Clearly, Justice Rehnquist will be remembered as a consensus builder, a tireless champion for a strong, independent judiciary and an advocate for federalism and the rule of law. This was a Chief who made the Court more efficient.”

Charmaine Yoest on Rehnquist’s honorable legacy.

The Political Teen has a round-up.

Law professor Keith Burgess-Jackson: “He was a good federalist. Unfortunately, he stayed on the Supreme Court too long. He should have stepped down years ago, or at least after a Republican assumed the presidency in January 2001.”

Ross Kaminsky: “While we mourn the passing of one of the great jurists in the history of our country, we should be strapping ourselves in for an intense political roller-coaster ride as we move through the unusual process of filling two Supreme Court vacancies.”

John Hinderaker at Power Line: ” I assume President Bush will want to wait until Roberts has been confirmed before naming his second nominee.”

Ed Morrissey’s forecast at Captain’s Quarters:

His death will set off a new round of guesswork on a new nominee to the Supreme Court, but will also put pressure on the Senate to expedite Roberts through the confirmation process. Having one opening on the first Monday in October would have created enough political embarrassment for the Senate, but allowing two will create too much blowback for the moderates, especially those in vulnerable states. A few Senators will have to let their few minutes of Judiciary Committee inquisition satisfy their need for a pound of conservative flesh.

My prediction: Bush will have a nominee by the end of September, and the Senate will have the confirmation hearings in late October or early November.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line looks ahead: “Personally, I’d love to see the president nominate Michael Luttig.”

Update, 9/4, 10:01 am EDT:

Not surprisingly, Democratic Underground members are rejoicing. For those with a strong stomach, the threads here and here. (Hat tip: reader Kent O.)

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Democratic Underground, R.I.P.