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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by RobertR, Sep 3, 2005.
Not often that i get to do this. In before the lock. There's no way this one won't go political.
You're mistaken. Want to know why? Anyone who takes this in a political direction will find their posting privileges removed. This is the first and last warning. A distinguished and devoted public servant has passed away. Honor and respect are due. Anything else doesn't belong here. M.
RIP, and what a way to end such a crazy week. Man.
RIP: CJ Rehnquist
Godspeed. I hope it's not political to say that his wisdom and grace will be missed.
Rest in peace your Honor. Parker
It was so good to have a man of his grace and humor to keep the members of the Court on a congenial basis. There are many stories that testify to his humor. One of my favorites concerns his practical joke on newly hired clerks on the court about his "drinking problem". He had a habit in chambers of drinking apple juice out of a shot glass, and the senior clerks would tell the new clerks "oh shoot, Rehnquist is tippling again". He would never deny that he wasn't really knocking back whiskey... And his design for a new Chief Justice robe, with 4 stripes on the sleeves, was really a joke at the expense of his predecesor in office - Rehnquist lifted the design from a favorite Gilbert and Sullivan opperetta. In the course of law school I must have read hundreds of his opinions, and was impressed with their pithy logic.
The late Chief Justice was quite an inspiration in that he refused to allow his health problems to step in the way of his job. In an age where baseball players go on the 15 day disabled list for a stubbed toe (only a slight exaggeration), His Honor still gave it all even fighting terminal cancer. When he showed up to administer the Oath of Office earlier this year, the "experts" all feigned surprise and shock that he showed up. Somehow, I had a feeling he'd keep his word and be there. God be with him.
He served his country long and well, through a difficult period of history, and at great personal cost at the end. He deserves our respect and gratitude, whether or not we found ourselves agreeing or disagreeing with him more often. There are things about which reasonable people may differ and it ought still to be possible to disagree with one another without being disagreeable. Remember when it was still possible to believe that someone who held a different opinion than yours was merely wrong, and not necessarily evil? And certainly in any case his family, friends and colleagues deserve our sympathy and respect for their loss and their grief, and (from those of us who go in for that sort of thing) our prayers. Regards, Joe
Well said Joseph. RIP, Your Honour.
Here's a good personal reflection on Bill Rehnquist, from one of his former clerks that is now a prof: http://www.slate.com/id/2125686/
Chief Justice Rehnquist's name is of course known far outside the US as well. What makes a man like him truly a great man is not, of course, my or someone else's agreement with his opinions, or the lack thereof. It is the apparent dedication to his country and the system of justice of that free country, like Michael said: a civil servant, and that as consequent as can be. I understand he was a man of great humour and wit, and at the same time someone who used his enormous talents to do his work with utmost dedication. A man who did what he thought he had to do, to say what he thought he had to say and to rule as he thought he had to rule. Many times I've read that he also was a man who knew to compromise - not about his own opinion, but in the way the system intended. I think that shows him as someone who really believed in, and fully accepted, the democratic (not used in the party-political sense here) judicial system of the USoA. That judicial system is extremely important and Chief Justice Rehnquist has helped to carry it, support it and fill it in for so many years with efforts only physically failing the very last periods before his death. May he indeed rest in peace! Cees
Today's NYTimes contains a fine tribute to the late Chief Justice by Laurence Tribe, a frequent advocate before the Supreme Court: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/06/opinion/06tribe.html M.
It is rare to have lived during the same time as one of the great shapers of American society. Reinquist represents for the Judicial branch what Washington, Lincoln, and FDR represented for the Executive branch. Whatever you might feel about his decisionmaking, noone can argue that his impact was profound. On a personal level, he represented everything I admire in a leader. Here was a man of impeccable professional conduct; one who possessed a work ethic that kept him at his duties even into his cancer-ravaged final months. What a marvelous example of an American triumphing over adversity. RIP, justice, and God speed.
Did anyone else notice that his nominated replacement ended up being one of his pallbearers? Is this the first time someone who wasn't already on the court was nominated for chief justice?
Most Chief Justices came from outside the Supreme Court. From my research at http://www.supremecourthistory.org/ only 3 Chief Justices were previously Associate Justices..... RIP
Nope. In fact, Reinquist was a rarity for being promoted to the central position from within the court. Out of "16 chief justices, 11 have come from outside" the court. (source)
Interesting the ChicagoTribune mentions 4 - I wonder if they were including John Jay (the first Chief) ? Guess he did technically come from the "outside", as did all the Associates of the first court.....