The Rehnquist Court (1986–2005)


How was Rehnquist viewed as a chief justice?

Perhaps to the surprise of his critics, Rehnquist was viewed by his colleagues as an excellent chief justice. He was known to be very efficient in his administration and very fair in doling out opinion assignments. Even his ideological opponents on the Court routinely praised him for his abilities and efforts as chief justice. Former Justice Thurgood Marshall, a strong liberal voice on the Court, called Rehnquist “a great Chief Justice.” William Brennan, another liberal stalwart, also praised Rehnquist’s abilities in the role of chief.

Law professor Anita Hill, whose claims in 1991 that she was sexually harassed years earlier by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas led to televised confirmation hearings. Jennifer K. Law/AFP/Getty

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