1986 September 26

William Rehnquist Becomes Chief Justice


William Rehnquist had been appointed an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in January 1972, by President Richard Nixon; on this day, he was elevated to Chief Justice by President Ronald Reagan. He served nearly 19 years in that role before retiring in September 2005. He was far more conservative than his moderate conservative predecessor, Warren Burger, and he moved the Court in a more anti-civil libertarian direction.

Read About the Rehnquist Court: Mark V. Tushnet, A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and the Future of Constitutional Law (2005)

Watch a 2002 Interview with Chief Justice Rehnquist:

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