Rehnquist, William Hubbs


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(b. 1 Oct. 1924).

US Supreme Court Chief Justice 1986–2005 Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he became a lawyer after distinguishing himself in the air force during World War II. He obtained BA, MA, and LLB degrees from Stanford and a Harvard MA. Rehnquist became a clerk to the Supreme Court in 1952, a Republican politician, and an assistant Attorney-General of the United States under the Nixon administration in 1969. He was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice in 1971. Rehnquist dissented from the judgment in Roe v. Wade, and became associated with efforts to remove abortion rights from the federal sphere to the discretion of the states. Appalled by judicial activism, he advocated a classical, minimalist role for the court after the tumult of the 1960s. In 1986, he was appointed by Ronald Reagan to replace Warren Burger as Chief Justice. In this position, he presided over the court's shift to the right, culminating in its controversial role in ensuring the 2002 Bush election victory.

Subjects: Law.

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