William Hubbs Rehnquist


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Rehnquist, William Hubbs

(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 NixonNixon, Richard Milhous,
1913–94, 37th President of the United States (1969–74), b. Yorba Linda, Calif. Political Career to 1968

A graduate of Whittier College and Duke law school, he practiced law in Whittier, Calif.
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. 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 WarrenWarren, Earl,
1891–1974, American public official and 14th chief justice of the United States (1953–69), b. Los Angeles. He graduated from the Univ. of California Law School in 1912. Admitted (1914) to the bar, he practiced in Oakland, Calif.
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 court in criminal cases. He was named chief justice in 1986 by President ReaganReagan, Ronald Wilson
, 1911–2004, 40th president of the United States (1981–89), b. Tampico, Ill. In 1932, after graduation from Eureka College, he became a radio announcer and sportscaster.
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, succeeding Warren BurgerBurger, Warren Earl,
1907–95, American jurist, 15th chief justice of the United States (1969–86), b. St. Paul, Minn. After receiving his law degree in 1931 from St.
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. The Rehnquist court was generally conservative, but the conservatism of the chief justice and the more ideological Justices Antonin ScaliaScalia, Antonin,
1936–2016, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1986–2016), b. Trenton, N.J. He graduated from Harvard Law School (1960) and subsequently taught law at the Univ. of Virginia (1967–71) and the Univ. of Chicago (1977–82).
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 and Clarence ThomasThomas, Clarence,
1948–, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1991–), b. Pin Point (Savannah), Ga. Raised in a poor family, he graduated (1974) from the Yale Law School and became a prominent black conservative active in Republican causes.
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 was tempered beginning in the late 1990s by the emergence of a judicially restrained bloc of justices including Sandra Day O'ConnorO'Connor, Sandra Day,
1930–, U.S. lawyer and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1981–2006), b. El Paso, Tex. Graduating from Stanford law school (1952), she returned to practice in her home state of Arizona.
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, David SouterSouter, David Hackett,
1939–, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1990–2009), b. Melrose, Mass. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he served as New Hampshire's attorney general (1976–78), and on the state's superior court (1978–83) before being
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, and Ruth Bader GinsburgGinsburg, Ruth (Joan) Bader,
1933–, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1993–), b. Brooklyn, N.Y. A graduate (1954) of Cornell, she attended Harvard Law School, then transferred to Columbia Law School, graduating in 1959. She clerked in the U.S.
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.

Bibliography

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