Rehnquist May Hear Supreme Court Case He Ruled on Two Years Ago

Article excerpt

William H. Rehnquist, the newly installed chief justice of the United States, is facing the prospect of voting on a Supreme Court case involving a lower court decision he was involved in two years ago.

The oddity has its roots in a suggestion Judge D. Dortch Warriner of federal District Court in Richmond de to Rehnquist over lunch one day. He related that justices of the Supreme Court once sat as trial judges in the district courts in the early days of the nation but had not done so for a century. Would Rehnquist be interested? As it happened, he was, and he did when a case arose and Warriner made the invitation official.

In the case, a police officer and a dispatcher in Colonial Beach, Va., were suspended after telling reporters that another officer had beaten a youth. They sued, contending their civil rights had been violated, and their lawyer, S. Keith Barker of Richmond, said the town readily agreed to having Rehnquist serve as trial judge. …


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