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July 28, 2005

Rehnquist: Time To Go, Old Bean

I couldn't have said it better. This has been a big topic of conversation around Villa Cassandranita, drawing more than the usual sardonic raised eyebrow from the Spousal Unit.

We had to update the Homeland Political Alert Status to Withering Scorn:

Hugo Black once told his clerks that justices who stay in office longer than they should ''impose terrible burdens" on their colleagues. But he didn't take his own advice, refusing to resign even when a stroke had wrecked his memory and ability to concentrate. A stroke debilitated William O. Douglas's mental abilities, too. In his last years on the bench, he addressed people by the wrong names, spoke in non sequiturs, and dozed during oral arguments. Even after finally retiring, he continued to show up at the court, insisting in his dementia that he was still a sitting justice.

Age sometimes brings wisdom, but too often it brings weakness, fatigue, and mental incapacity. Americans would be aghast at an airline that permitted 80-year-old pilots to fly its jets or a hospital whose surgeons were feeble and confused. Shouldn't we at least be concerned about superannuated Supreme Court judges?

Posted by Cassandra at July 28, 2005 10:14 AM

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Posted by: KJ at July 28, 2005 11:19 AM


Posted by: Bush Ate My Soul... at July 28, 2005 11:21 AM

I just wanted an excuse to have a post with the word "superannuated" in it.

I go all tingly inside when I hear that word.

Posted by: Bush Ate My Soul... at July 28, 2005 11:21 AM

He has deferred retirement and sanity. You are biased against the elderly. Next thing you know, you will insist that every justice who has half a brain should die with dignity.

Posted by: Snarky One at July 28, 2005 11:47 AM

Just remember, Rehnquist was there when they wrote the freakin' Constitution!

Who better then, to tell us what the framers had in mind at the time?!

Posted by: camojack at July 28, 2005 12:16 PM

Heh. no wonder he's an originalist.

Posted by: Cass at July 28, 2005 12:19 PM


Posted by: camojack at July 28, 2005 12:27 PM

"every justice who has half a brain should die with dignity"

Well, let's see. That would be Stevens, Ginsburg and Souter for starters. I think Breyer and Kennedy have at least 3/4 of a brain.

Posted by: KJ at July 28, 2005 01:19 PM

Dagnabit! I forgot what the topic is, but I'm an old and cantankerous Supreme Court Justice, so I'm agin it!

(shaking fist) And you kids stay the heck off my lawn! The gubmint oughtta round up kids who give people too much backsass and put em to work in some kind of sweatshop. I know I saw a penumbra for this new constitutional right emanating from the 2nd, 16th, and 33rd amendments! Or was that just my medication? (mutter, mutter). Next case!

Posted by: a former european at July 28, 2005 03:09 PM

33rd Amendment? I wonder what that will be.

Posted by: KJ at July 28, 2005 04:21 PM

It will be whatever I say it will be! The actual words are meaningless next to my oh-so-learned "interpretation"!

-- Some random Justice

Posted by: a former european at July 28, 2005 05:52 PM

Actually, I think Rehnquist is going for "the record." Meaning, I believe that if he serves out the term, he will exceed John Marshall's record for "Chief Justice with longest total tenure on Supreme Court." You know how men are about numerical metrics. The chance to "beat" John Marshall is probably all that will keep him alive in the next year.

Posted by: TigerHawk [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2005 11:57 PM

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