Sunday, November 12, 2006

How the Late William H. Rehnquist Continues to Make a Difference

By John W. Lillpop

When Chief Justice William Rehnquist died on September 3, 2005, the nation lost a great American and an outstanding legal mind who had served on the United States Supreme Court for more than 33 years.

Rehnquist began his service on January 7, 1972 when he took his seat as an Associate Justice. Fourteen years later, on September 26, 1986, Associate Justice Rehnquist was sworn in as the chief justice of America’s highest court.

In an era marked by hyperactive liberal jurists, Rehnquist stood out as a beacon of hope for conservatism and preservation of constitutional integrity. One shudders to think what America would be today were it not for this noble intellectual from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Although the demise of a brilliant and patriotic jurist is never cause for celebration, it is worth noting that, even in death, Rehnquist contributed to the future well being of America. His death in September 2005 made it possible for President Bush to nominate Associate John Roberts to be chief justice, and Samuel Alito to join the court as a new associate justice.

Given the results of the 2006 elections, it is doubtful that either Roberts or Alito would have been confirmed to the Supreme Court by a hostile Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

America would thus have been denied the service of two outstanding jurists with impeccable conservative credentials who will work to safeguard the U.S. Constitution for decades to come.