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Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Chief



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Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist was the fairest, most efficient boss I have ever had. . . . In his leadership of the U.S. Judiciary and his superintendence of the Supreme Court, William H. Rehnquist used to great effect the tools Congress and tradition entrusted to him. A plain speaker without airs or affectations, the chief fostered a spirit of collegiality among the nine of us perhaps unparalleled in the court’s history. He regarded an independent judiciary as our country’s hallmark and pride, and in his annual reports, he constantly urged Congress to safeguard that independence.

“On the obligation key to judging, he cautioned that a judge steps out of the proper judicial role most conspicuously and dangerously when the judge flinches from a decision that is legally right because the bottom line is not the one ‘the home crowd wants.’ I held him in highest regard and affection, and will miss him greatly.”



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