Honoring and Recognizing the Distinguished Service, Career, and Achievements of Chief Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist Upon His Death

By:  Steve Chabot
Date: Sept. 7, 2005
Location: Washington, DC


HONORING AND RECOGNIZING THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE, CAREER, AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM HUBBS REHNQUIST UPON HIS DEATH -- (House of Representatives - September 07, 2005)

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Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, as chairman of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, I want to take this opportunity to honor the late Supreme Court Justice William Hubbs Rehnquist. Our country was privileged to have Justice Rehnquist serve as a member of our Supreme Court for 33 years, the last 18 years, as we know, as Chief Justice. Once considered the maverick lone star justice for his solo dissents, he eventually led a majority which perhaps most importantly favored a shift in power from Washington back to the States where it belongs.

Among other challenges he met during his tenure, Chief Justice Rehnquist presided over the impeachment trial of a President, President Clinton. Having served as one of the House managers myself, I can say that he did so with an evenhanded approach, showing fairness and dignity to both sides. Also, notably, he was the last member of the Court who voted on the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, dissenting from that ruling that legalized abortion. I will always appreciate his respect for the value of human life and his commitment to this body and local government's making decisions to protect life, such as the ban on partial-birth abortion.

Through his opinions, the Chief Justice showed that an active Court could uphold conservative policy through judicial restraint. As we begin the process of finding a replacement for Justice Rehnquist, I hope that we will remember the important impact of his presence on the Court and his commitment to upholding the text and history of the Constitution.

His strength and dedication to our country could be seen most recently when he fulfilled his duties of swearing in our 43rd President for the second time while battling terminal thyroid cancer. Let us remember this, I believe, historic Chief Justice for his love of the law and his love for his country. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family on this day.

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