William H. Rehnquist

Rehnquist, William Hubbs

William Hubbs Rehnquist (rĕn´kwĬst), 1924–2005, American public official, 16th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1986–2005), b. Milwaukee, Wis., as William Donald Rehnquist. After receiving his law degree from Stanford Univ. in 1952, he served (1952–53) as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson. The following year he went to Phoenix, where he practiced law and became involved in conservative Republican politics. He was (1968–71) an assistant U.S. attorney general, heading the office of legal counsel in the Dept. of Justice before being named (1971) an associate justice of the Supreme Court by President Nixon. Generally regarded as one of the more conservative members of the late 20th cent. Supreme Court, Rehnquist became known as an advocate of law and order, writing several opinions reversing the liberal trend of the Earl Warren court in criminal cases. He was named chief justice in 1986 by President Reagan, succeeding Warren Burger. The Rehnquist court was generally conservative, but the conservatism of the chief justice and the more ideological Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas was tempered beginning in the late 1990s by the emergence of a judicially restrained bloc of justices including Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

See biography by J. A. Jenkins (2012).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions
Leon Friedman; Fred L. Israel.
Chelsea House, vol.5, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Includes "William H. Rehnquist"
Judges on Judging: Views from the Bench
David M. O'Brien.
Chatham House Publishers, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "The Supreme Court's Conference" by William H. Rehnquist Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the United States and Chap. 13 "The Notion of a Living Constitution" by William H. Rehnquist Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the United States
Remarks of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist
William and Mary Law Review, Vol. 46, No. 4, February 2005
Remarks of the Chief Justice: My Life in the Law Series
Rehnquist, William H.
Duke Law Journal, Vol. 52, No. 4, February 2003
An Essential Safeguard: Essays on the United States Supreme Court and Its Justices
D. Grier Stephenson Jr.
Greenwood Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Conflict and Leadership on the U.S. Supreme Court: From Marshall to Rehnquist" and Chap. 9 "Chief Justice Rehnquist and the Future of the Supreme Court"
Supreme Court Appointments: Judge Bork and the Politicization of Senate Confirmations
Norman Vieira; Leonard Gross.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of William H. Rehnquist begins on p. 57
The Rehnquist Court and the Constitution
Tinsley E. Yarbrough.
Oxford University Press, 2000
The Rehnquist Court: In Pursuit of Judicial Conservatism
Stanley H. Friedelbaum.
Greenwood Press, 1994
Federal Sentencing Guidelines and the Rehnquist Court: Theories of Statutory Interpretation
Spiro, Rebecca L.
American Criminal Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 1, Winter 2000
The Rehnquist Court. (Cases, Controversy, and the Court)
Chemerinsky, Erwin.
Social Education, Vol. 66, No. 1, January-February 2002
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist: Prizing People, Place, and History
Thompson, Barton H., Jr.
Stanford Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 6, April 2006
William H. Rehnquist: A Life Lived Greatly, and Well
Garnett, Richard W.
The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 115, No. 8, June 2006
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