September 4, 2005

The Justices pay tribute to William Rehnquist.

What's with everyone but Souter making a statement on the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist? ("A statement from Justice David Souter is not expected, the court said.")

Of the seven who did make statements:

Those who noted his fairness: Stevens, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Breyer, Ginsburg.

Those who said they'd lost a friend: Stevens, Scalia, Thomas.

Citing his leadership: Stevens, Kennedy, Ginsburg.

Mentioning his sense of humor: Stevens, O'Connor.

Noting his common touch: Kennedy, Ginsburg.

Noting his intellect: Scalia, Kennedy, Breyer.

Noting his dedication to judicial independence: Breyer, Ginsburg.

Paying tribute to his knowledge of the Court's history: Kennedy, Breyer.

Referring to him as "boss": Ginsburg.

No one said they "loved" him, but Justice Kennedy noted that "He loved his family," and Justice Ginsburg said she "held him in highest regard and affection."

Acknowledging his historical greatness: O'Connor.


Abc said...

To have the two lone academics on the court, Breyer and Scalia (who are on opposing sides of most issues), commending him for his intellect says a lot. To all of those academics who argue that Rehnquist was merely a "Republican thug" and who complain that his opinions were intellectually vapid and unmemorable, take that. R.I.P.

Mark Daniels said...

I find Souter's silence and the statement that he would remain so, intriguing. But I can't speculate with any intelligence on what it might mean. Can you?

Charlie Martin said...

"If you can't say something nice...."

Charlie Martin said...

On the other hand, the New York Times article quotes Souter about him. So I dunno.

Paul said...

Oh boy, don't ban me.
First, may his soul, if we have one of those, rest in peace.
It drives me crazy to see government workers, praising government workers as if they had toiled for nothing, or very little. Or even members of the same profession heaping accolades upon him. Okay, he did his job well to varying degrees, that was expected. He was getting paid just like you.
Government workers remind me of Hollywood in that they give awards to each other like crazy, the truth is any number of people could have performed just as well given the chance.
There will be awards heaped upon him, medals, most given by other government workers, on and on. He did his job, that should be sufficient. He did it well, that's praise enough. Can we move on? I will agree that each member of government that has to go through the circus called "Committee" deserves a big bonus though. Anyone having to listen to Senators drone on and on deserves that.
This is in no way a personal attack on The Chief Justice, just a general rant he inspired. Government workers from the President on down heaping honors on a well paid, job for life, toadied to individual while awaiting their turn someday are tiresome. Go back to work please.

Unknown said...


I agree with you that government workers often heap praise upon each other for little reason.

This case is a bit different: A human being died, and human beings that knew him well and worked with him are offering their eulogies for the man. It's not really a case of government workers slapping each other on the back.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Just read Dershowitz piece (in the WAPO I think). Dershowitz blasts Rehnquist and his article suggests Souter's father (a Stanford grad) may have felt Rehnquist and Stanford (in those times) was anti-semitic.

Certainly would help explain Souter silence.

dick said...

So Souter works with the man for 15 years or so and all the time thinks that the man is anti-semitic (hello, Ginsburg???) and for that reason he says nothing. Makes sense to me.

jacksonite said...

Souter just wanted to score a lone dissent?

I'm Full of Soup said...

Correction to my earlier post.

I screwed up, in the Dershowitz piece it was Breyer's father not Souter's who went to Stanford.

So i conclude by saying "never mind".

The Florida Masochist said...

What's with Souter? What's with bloggers with too much time on their hands? This reminds me of the backstabbing and attacks going on involving the Sheehan woman a month ago. Here is my blog post from then.

Grief is a personal process. It takes on many forms. Souter's silence just like Cindy Sheehan's protests can be just two such forms. Leave the people alone. You're diving into a cesspool otherwise. Is that what you want to be thought of?

Here is