William Rehnquist on Government Reform

Supreme Court Justice (nominated by Pres. Nixon 1972)


Statesí rights over federal power

The nine court members can be divided into three general alliances, but all of the justices have crossed ideological lines. The three conservative justices, including Rehnquist, and two of the swing justices usually support statesí rights.

Rehnquist, a big statesí rights advocate, the conservative chief justive has led the charge to cut back the federal governmentís power over the states.

Source: Reuters article in Boston Globe, p. A45 , Dec 1, 2000

Court is conscience in constitutional sense, not moral sense

The Supreme Court has on occasion been referred to as the conscience of the country, but I think this description has a considerable potential for mischief. If no more is meant than that the Supreme Court insofar as it upholds the principles of the Constitution is the conscience of the country, it is of course quite accurate. But the phrase is also subject to the more sweeping interpretation that the justices of the Supreme Court are to bring to bear on every constitutional question the moral principles found in each of their individual consciences Yet to go beyond the language of the Constitution, and the meaning that may be fairly ascribed to the language, and into the consciences of individual judges, is to embark on a journey that is treacherous indeed. Many of us necessarily feel strongly and deeply about the judgments of our own consciences, but these remain only personal moral judgments until in some way they are given the sanction of supreme law.
Source: The Supreme Court: How it Was, How it Is, p. 317 , Jul 2, 1987

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Other Justices on Government Reform: William Rehnquist on other issues:
Samuel Alito(since 2006)
Stephen Breyer(since 1994)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg(since 1993)
Elena Kagan(since 2010)
Anthony Kennedy(since 1988)
John Roberts(since 2005)
Sonia Sotomayor(since 2009)
Clarence Thomas(since 1991)

Former Justices:
Merrick Garland(nominated 2016)
Antonin Scalia(1986-2016)
John Paul Stevens(1975-2010)
David Souter(1990-2009)
Sandra Day O'Connor(1981-2006)
William Rehnquist(1975-2005)

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Page last updated: Feb 02, 2020