posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 03:19 PM
Rumors are swirling that Chief Justice William Rehnquist may announce his retirement as soon as President Bush returns from Europe. If he does, it
could mark the first time in 34 years that a dual vacancy exists on the high court. Rehnquist is being treated for thyroid cancer and has appeared
weak to court observers.
After Sandra Day O'Connor's surprise announcement last week, the attention is focused again on ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist and the
prospect of simultaneous high court openings for the first time in 34 years.
President Bush, who is traveling in Europe this week, plans to focus on a handful of prospective replacements for O'Connor over the next few weeks,
an aide said Tuesday. That gives Rehnquist more time to ponder his future.
He could join O'Connor in retiring, setting the stage for a double nomination and Senate confirmation fight. Or he could remain on the job,
overseeing the court through its first turnover since 1994.
So far Rehnquist, who is 80, has given no hints. His health is the biggest question. He received radiation and chemotherapy last fall for thyroid
cancer. While his condition improved enough for him to return to the bench in March, he's appeared frail in recent weeks.
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The ability to leave a legacy such as this must be a wish of every president. The choices that are nominated, can and will have a profound effect on
the direction this nation takes for the next 20-30 years. The confirmation process will be interesting if two Robert Bork type clones are
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[edit on 7/8/05 by FredT]