September 4, 2005

September 4, 2005 | News Releases on Legal Issues

Heritage Foundation Legal Experts Mourn Rehnquist's Passing

Washington, Sept. 4, 2005-Edwin Meese III and Todd Gaziano, chairman and director, respectively, of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, today issued the following statement on the death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist:

"It is with genuine sadness that we at Heritage mourn the passing of William H. Rehnquist, and extend our heartfelt condolences to the Rehnquist family. Rehnquist was a great scholar and intellect, an outstanding public servant, a devoted family man and a loyal friend to those fortunate enough to know him well.

"Rehnquist's impact on American life and law has been profound, and it will continue for generations. In his 33-year tenure on the Court, he was able to see many of the positions he first articulated in dissents later accepted as law, particularly in landmark rulings concerning federalism, criminal procedure and religious liberty.

"Rehnquist was not simply first among equals on the Supreme Court. By all reports, his fellow justices welcomed his efficient handling of the Court's docket and his evenhanded leadership of the justices' private deliberations.

"As his official title since his elevation in 1986, 'Chief Justice of the United States,' implies, Rehnquist also had administrative responsibility for the entire federal court system. In this, Rehnquist also excelled. He was a gifted administrator who served the judicial branch ably and well.

"When the Court begins its new term this October, Chief Justice Rehnquist's presence will be missed. But his personal influence and judicial opinions will remain an important part of the Court's tradition for many years to come."

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