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Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies of Thyroid Cancer

September 4th 2005

Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies of Thyroid Cancer

Chief Justice Rehnquist

Chief Justice William Rehnquist died Saturday after losing his battle with thyroid cancer.  He was diagnosed with cancer in October but kept working until the final days of his life.  He died at his home in Arlington Virginia surrounded by his three children.  Born October 1st 1924; he was 80 years old.

Rehnquist was the 16th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and was considered stern on the bench and had a deep laugh. He would sometimes snap at lawyers raising his eyebrows to an exaggerated comical arch at their responses.   

He was appointed to the bench by President Nixon and was elevated to the post of chief justice by President Reagan.  Rehnquist was a strong supporter of states’ rights and believed the federal powers should be extremely limited.


The chief justice consistently voted against affirmative action.  He voted against the right to an abortion in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.  Rehnquist consistently favored more police power and fewer rights for accused criminals, while also wanting to speed up death penalty cases. 

Rehnquist presided over the impeachment trial of President Clinton.  He stirred up controversy when he sided with the majority in the controversial 5-4 decision following the 2000 election sending George Bush to the White House.   

President Bush was deeply saddened according to White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo “His family is in their thoughts and prayers."   For the first time in 19 years there is an opening for the chief justice on the court.  This may launch a furious partisan battle. 

Confirmation hearings begin on Tuesday for appeals court Judge John Roberts.  The administration hopes Roberts will replace outgoing Sandra Day O’Connor. 

Roberts Nomination and Hearings


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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

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Keywords and misspellings: Rehnquist Renquest Rinquest Renquist


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:39 PM