04 Sep 2005 Tidbits on Rehnquist
A few tidbits I saw this night while reading about the late Chief Justice:
Comedian/actor Robin Williams, doing a supposed imitation of Rehnquist soon after he became Chief Justice in 1986, as quoted in People magazine’s September 22, 1986 edition:
Do I have a hood on my new robe?
Senator Ted Kennedy on Rehnquist during the latter’s 1986 Senate confirmation hearing (as cited in the August 25, 1986 New Republic, which added after Kennedy’s quote: “A fair point.”):
Imagine what America would be like if Mr. Rehnquist had been chief justice and his cramped and narrow view of the Constitution had prevailed in the critical years since World War II.
A synopsis of Rehnquist’s legacy (and an answer to Kennedy), by Jan Crawford Greenburg for the Chicago Tribune:
[Justice Rehnquist’s] legacy is a more overarching one, because he has, quite literally, changed the terms of the debate. His outlook on the law – that courts should strictly interpret laws, not seek to solve problems – was not embraced by some of his colleagues when he joined the bench more than three decades ago. But today, arguments are framed in terms of the law. The language in court opinions, even by the court’s liberal justices, has changed.
My quibble with Rehnquist: That he didn’t join the court far earlier, and stay much longer.