After a long battle with thyroid cancer, Chief Justice William Rehnquist died this evening at his home in Virginia.

Chief Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist was one of the strongest advocates for the principles of limited government and federalism to serve on the United States Supreme Court in modern times. Rehnquist’s determination to uphold the values of limited government had a profound effect on the state of American jurisprudence.

Rehnquist served the Supreme Court of the United States for 33 years, 19 of those as Chief Justice. In that time, Rehnquist made his mark on the history of the Supreme Court, constantly battling to ensure that the Court did not stray from the Constitution.

Rehnquist’s majority decision in the Lopez case was a watershed that helped hold back the continual encroachment of federal powers through the misuse of the Commerce Clause. For years, the federal government had been slowly eroding the police powers of the states under the guise of interstate commerce – even when such ties to interstate commerce was tenuous at best. Rehnquist, like all conservatives, viewed such actions as being harmful to the very concept of federalism. Throughout his tenure as a member of the United States Supreme Court, Chief Justice Rehnquist stood firm on the principles of limited government.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist was a determined fighter, right until the end. He stood on his principles, and he was an effective and powerful advocate for the values of conservatism, federalism, and a man who did his duty in defending and protecting the United States Constitution.

He also showed his immense personal strength during his long fight with thyroid cancer. Rehnquist wouldn’t let his illness stand in the way of his duties. He saw to it that he would be there on Inauguration Day to swear in President Bush for his final term in office. He continued to work for as long as he could. While Washington was abuzz with rumors of retirement, Chief Justice Rehnquist continued working as long as he was able to do so. One suspects that he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

A great chapter in the history of the Supreme Court has been closed. It is time for us to continue the legacy of Chief Justice Rehnquist and continue to stand for the values to which he dedicated his years of public service.

God bless Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and God save our honorable Court.


  1. At a loss for anything worthwhile to say about Rehnquist, I will say that he shamed his home state of Wisconsin less than a certain former Senator from the 1950s. And one of his last court rulings, where he was on the right side of the property rights issue, was a strong finale.

    Aside from that, I’ll offer my usual Labor Day greeting to those who respect and support the history and continuity of labor unions as a necessary counteragent in the American economic structure, even if they don’t necessarily agree with every decision every union has ever made. As for the labor-hating ideologues who oppose unions’ right to exist, I trust you are reading this from the office, where you have been volunteering your services since the crack of dawn this morning in protest of the holiday brought to you by the American labor movement. You’ll show those dirty unions!!!!!

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