Rehnquist, William Hubbs


Rehnquist, William Hubbs
▪ 2006

      American jurist (b. Oct. 1, 1924, Milwaukee, Wis.—d. Sept. 3, 2005, Arlington, Va.), served as the chief architect of the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative turn as an associate justice (1971–86) and as chief justice (1986–2005). Rehnquist, whom Pres. Richard M. Nixon appointed to the court of Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, established himself as a vocal supporter of states' rights and was a firm believer in limiting the role of the federal courts in the political landscape. During his own term as chief justice, he narrowed the focus of the Supreme Court, greatly improved its efficiency, and reduced its caseload while increasing its power relative to the legislative branch. Rehnquist attended Stanford University, where he received both a B.A. and an M.A. in 1948. He added a master's degree in government (1949) from Harvard University before returning to Stanford Law School, where he finished at the top of his class (1952). He then served as a clerk in the office of Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson. There he authored a memorandum that would return to haunt him after he was nominated to the high court. In that memorandum he defended the “separate but equal” doctrine established in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), saying that it “was right and should be reaffirmed.” He later said that these were not his personal views and that he supported the legal reasoning behind the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision, which declared school segregation unconstitutional. In 1953 Rehnquist married and relocated to Phoenix. While there, he established himself in local Republican Party circles and eventually made contacts within the 1968 Nixon presidential campaign. The following year he was tapped by Nixon to serve as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. He thrived in the position and spent much of his time articulating to Congress the constitutional justifications of the administration's policies. Rehnquist's 33 years of service on the Supreme Court were punctuated with some of the most significant decisions in American jurisprudence. He offered one of the dissenting opinions in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the United States. He authored the majority opinion in Paul v. Davis (1976), a case that limited the expansion of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. He felt that free expression extended to works of parody—as he wrote in the majority opinion of the Hustler v. Falwell (1988) decision—but not to the burning of the American flag, as articulated in his dissent in Texas v. Johnson (1989). He dissented again in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992), the court's 5–4 affirmation of the Roe decision. His majority decision in United States v. Lopez (1995) checked Congress's ability to undercut state power through the use of the Constitution's commerce clause. Perhaps his most famous case was the 2000 decision Bush v. Gore, which halted the recounting of presidential ballots in Florida. In his majority opinion Rehnquist wrote that the recount process had bypassed the state legislature and was thus invalid—a decision that awarded the presidency to George W. Bush.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rehnquist,William Hubbs — Rehn·quist (rĕnʹkwĭst ), William Hubbs. Born 1924. American jurist who served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1972 1986) and was appointed chief justice in 1986. * * * …   Universalium

  • William Hubbs Rehnquist — (* 1. Oktober 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; † 3. September 2005 in Arlington, Virginia) war ein US amerikanischer Jurist und Vorsitzender Richter des Supreme Court of the United States (Chief Justice of the United States). Leben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Hubbs Rehnquist — William Rehnquist William Rehnquist William Hubbs Rehnquist, né le 1er octobre 1924 et décédé le 3 septembre 2005 à Arlington, Virginie, aux États Unis, est un juriste américain, ancien procureur général, et Chief Justice (Prési …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rehnquist, William — ▪ chief justice of United States in full  William Hubbs Rehnquist  born October 1, 1924, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. died September 3, 2005, Arlington, Virginia  16th chief justice of the United States, appointed to the Supreme Court (Supreme… …   Universalium

  • William Hubbs Rehnquist — noun United States jurist who served as an associate justice on the United States Supreme Court from 1972 until 1986, when he was appointed chief justice (born in 1924) • Syn: ↑Rehnquist, ↑William Rehnquist • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chief justice …   Useful english dictionary

  • William Hubbs Rehnquist — ➡ Rehnquist * * * …   Universalium

  • William Rehnquist — 16th Chief Justice of the United States In office September 26, 1986 – September 3, 2005 Nominated by …   Wikipedia

  • Rehnquist — William Hubbs Rehnquist (* 1. Oktober 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; † 3. September 2005 in Arlington, Virginia) war ein US amerikanischer Jurist und Vorsitzender Richter des Supreme Court of the United States (Chief Justice of the United States) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Rehnquist — William Hubbs Rehnquist (* 1. Oktober 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; † 3. September 2005 in Arlington, Virginia) war ein US amerikanischer Jurist und Vorsitzender Richter des Supreme Court of the United States (Chief Justice of the United States) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William H. Rehnquist — William Rehnquist William Hubbs Rehnquist (* 1. Oktober 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; † 3. September 2005 in Arlington, Virginia) war ein US amerikanischer Jurist und von 1986 bis 2005 Vorsitzender Richter des Suprem …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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