Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died late Saturday evening. As reported by Gina Holland of AP:
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died Saturday evening of cancer, ending a remarkable 33-year tenure on the Supreme Court and creating a rare second vacancy on the nation's highest court.
Rehnquist, 80, was surrounded by his three children when he died at his home in suburban Arlington.
Sadly, the AP couldn’t wait to remind its readers of Mr. Rehnquist’s political leanings, his involvement in the Florida Recount Debacle, or that this will likely impact the upcoming hearings for the appointment of John Roberts to replace the recently retired Sandra Day O’Connor:
His death ends a career during which Rehnquist oversaw the court's conservative shift, presided over an impeachment trial and helped decide a presidential election.
The death leaves President Bush with his second court opening within four months and sets up what's expected to be an even more bruising Senate confirmation battle than that of John Roberts.
It was not immediately clear what impact Rehnquist's death would have on confirmation hearings for Roberts, scheduled to begin Tuesday.
I guess it would have been asking too much for there to be a proper period of mourning for this wonderful man who has so selflessly served his country before his death became a political event.