U.S. Chief Justice Rehnquist Hospitalized

July 13 17:34 2005 Print This Article

Second vacancy at Supreme Court seems inevitable

WASHINGTON, July 13 – Today U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist was hospitalized with a fever. Wide speculation suggests that this may lead to a second vacancy in the Supreme Court since Rehnquist has been suffering from thyroid cancer for almost a year now. This comes as a surprise after the resignation of Supreme Court member Sandra Day O’Connor on July 1st.

The already fierce battle between the Republicans and Democrats will get even fiercer if there will indeed be a second vacancy now Rehnquist’s health may take a turn for the worse. It is already known that Bush will not discard the chance to replace the often progressive O’Connor with a more conservative member. Rehnquist is already considered to be one of the most conservative members so his potential replacement might not make a big difference although the Democrats would love to have an edge in the nine-member high court.

The last time two Supreme Court vacancies at the same time occurred was in late 1971, Rehnquist filled one of the two vacancies. He now has led the Supreme Court for 19 years while being a member for 15 years before he was promoted to chief justice. During Rehnquist’s conservative lead he has fought to expand the rights of the state, he has restricted appeals by death row inmates and he has allowed more public funding of religious activities.

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