Nominated Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by President Nixon on October 21, 1971; affirmed by a 68-26 Senate vote. Sworn in on January 7, 1972. Nominated Chief Justice of the United States by President Reagan on June 17, 1986; affirmed by a 65-33 Senate vote on September 25, 1986 and sworn in on September 26, 1986. As Chief Justice, Rehnquist serves as Chairman of the Judicial Conference of the United States and as Chairman of the Federal Judicial Center.
William Hubbs Rehnquist was born October 1, 1924, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of William Benjamin Rehnquist, a paper salesman, and Margery Peck Rehnquist. Rehnquist married Natalie Cornell of San Diego, California, and had 3 children: James in 1955, Janet in 1957, and Nancy in 1959. The family is a member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bethesda, Maryland.
Rehnquist attended public elementary and high schools in Shorewood, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. Following his service in the air force during WWII, Rehnquist attended Stanford University, where he earned a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science in 1948; he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1948. He continued his education at Harvard University where he earned another M.A. in Government in 1950. He then returned to Stanford University to earn his LL.B.; he graduated first in his class in 1952.
Rehnquist served as a clerk to honorable Justice Robert H. Jackson, Supreme Court of the United States, February 1952-June 1953.
Private practice of law, Phoenix, Arizona, 1953-1969. Engaged in a general practice of law with primary emphasis on civil litigation.
Served in the United States Army Air Corps in this country and overseas from 1943 to 1946. He was discharged with the rank of sergeant. Appointed Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, by President Nixon in January 1969.
Political Battles for Judicial Independence (1975); Sunshine in the Third Branch (1977); Constitutional Law and Public Opinion (1986); The Supreme Court: The Way It Was - the Way It Is (1987); Grand Inquests (1992)."
Rehnquist was active in professional, civic, and church affairs while living in Phoenix, Arizona. He was also a regular contributor of articles on legal subjects to various periodicals.
More Biographical Information:
- Book Review: The Rehnquist Choice by John W. Dean By Edward Lazarus.
- Analysis: More Vigor for the Right From the New York Times. (Registration Required)
- Dedicated Conservative Jurist: William H. Rehnquist From the New York Times. (Registration Required)
- The Justices of the Supreme Court From the U.S. Supreme Court. In Adobe PDF format.
- Judges of the United States Courts From the Federal Judicial Center
- Justice Rehnquist From the Legal Information Institute (Cornell University).
- Rehnquist, William Hubbs From Biography.com.
- Rehnquist, William Hubbs From Encyclopaedia Britannica.
- The Rehnquist Factor: Abiding Conservativism, Past and Present From the New York Times. (Registration Required)
- William H. Rehnquist From the Oyez Project (Northwestern University).
- William H. Rehnquist From the Supreme Court History Society.
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