Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist

Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist --who spent 33 years on the court--died on September 3, 2005 at the age of 80. His body lay in state in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court until his funeral on September 7, 2005; his casket resting on the same catafalque as did the casket of Abraham Lincoln. Rehnquist’s religious service took place at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington DC, where, in 1963, John F. Kennedy’s funeral Mass was held. The Catholic cathedral was chosen for its size, however the service was conducted by Minister Rev. George W. Evans Jr., pastor of Rehnquist’s parish, the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. At the start of the religious service, Rehnquist’s casket was carried into church by some of his former law clerks, preceded by the eight associate justices. During a service more than two hours long, Rehnquist was eulogized by many, including President George W. Bush and close friend, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. At its conclusion, another group of law clerks carried the Judge Rehnquist’s casket out of the cathedral, this time with the justices --in order of seniority--following behind the casket of their former leader. A motorcade transported mourners to Arlington National Cemetery where Rehnquist was buried along with his wife, Natalie, who had died in 1991. Rehnquist’s burial spot affords a view of the Capitol. Note: This photo was taken before Rehnquist’s death. Thus, the monument does not bear a date of death for him.


John G. Roberts, Rehnquist’s onetime law clerk, succeeded him as Chief Justice.

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