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Glossary

On the leadership of Chief Justice William Rehnquist

Transcript
Chief Justice Rehnquist was a very effective Chief Justice in my opinion. And I think one of the reasons he was so effective is that as I described he had a very clear view of what the law is or should be and he had a practicality about him that encouraged him to work with the Court to try to get some of those views incorporated in opinions. But if at the end of the day he failed, if he lost his argument to a different majority on the Court, he never held a grudge. He was alright, we've aired it, we've talked about it, we've debated it, that's the decision of the majority of the Court. So be it. And I admired that so much. It made him a very effective leader of the Court because he was never looking back over his shoulder at what might have been. He was forward looking and accepted what was in a very realistic fashion. I grew up on a cattle ranch. And I likened his role as Chief Justice to that of someone who is a very good rider of horses. And if you are a very good rider and on a good horse you have very loose reins. You're not constantly pulling up on the reins. And Bill Rehnquist was that kind of Chief Justice. He held loose reins for the rest of the Court.


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