Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist's Key Decisions

washingtonpost.com Staff
Sunday, September 04, 2005

June 23, 2005: Kelo v. City of New London

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist dissents from an opinion that allows local governments to force property owners to sell and make way for private economic development when officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not blighted and the new project's success is not guaranteed. May 31, 2005: Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States

The court unanimously overturns the 2002 criminal conviction of Enron Corp.'s accounting firm. Dec. 10, 2003: McConnell v. Federal Election Commission and other FEC cases

The court endorses the key provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, issuing a strong affirmation of Congress's authority to regulate the flow of money in politics. June 23, 2003: Grutter v. Bollinger, Gratz v. Bollinger

May 27, 2003: Nevada v. Hibbs

Rehnquist rules that state workers have the right to sue their employers over violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. March 5, 2003: Ewing v. California and Lockyer v. Andrade

Rehnquist votes in favor of California's "Three-Strikes" law, as the court decides that long prison terms are legal for multiple offenders. Jan. 5, 2003

Rehnquist, in his year-end report, warns of a crisis in federal courts and calls for an increase in judicial salaries and reform of the judicial nominations process. June 27, 2002: Zelman v. Simmons-Harris

Rehnquist writes the majority opinion of a divided court, which upholds a Cleveland school voucher program that provides scholarships to send children to religious or private schools. Jan. 18, 2001

Rehnquist comments on the court's decision in Bush v. Gore. Dec. 12, 2000: Bush v. Gore

Rehnquist votes with four other justices in favor of George W. Bush, the key decision that settled the 2000 election and made Bush the 43rd president of the United States. June 28, 2000: Stenberg, Attorney General of Nebraska v. Carhart and Hill v. Colorado

Rehnquist votes against down a Nebraska law banning "partial birth" abortions; he votes with the majority to uphold abortion clinic protest restrictions. June 26, 2000: Dickerson v. United States

Rehnquist, court reaffirms the landmark ruling that police have to inform criminal suspects of their rights. June 24, 1999: Alden v. Maine

Rehnquist joins with the majority in a divided ruling that people seeking to enforce a federal right cannot sue state governments. Jan. 7, 1999

Rehnquist presides over the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. October 1998

Rehnquist publishes "All the Laws But One: Civil Liberties in Wartime."

May 27, 1997: Clinton v. Jones

A unanimous court rules that a private civil lawsuit against a sitting president can proceed. June 24, 1997: Agostini v. Felton

Rehnquist joins O'Connor in allowing public school teachers to provide remedial education in parochial schools. April 26, 1995: U.S. v. Lopez

Rehnquist writes a majority opinion that invalidates a congressional ban on guns near schools and limits Congress' authority to regulate commerce. Jan. 25, 1993: Herrera v. Collins

Rehnquist, court cut back the rights of criminal defendants, ruling that condemned prisoners who have exhausted their appeals and then produce new evidence that could prove their innocence have no right to be heard by a federal court. June 29, 1992: Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA v. Casey

Rehnquist dissents as the court declines to eliminate abortion rights in a 5-to-4 vote. May 1992

Rehnquist publishes "Grand Inquests: The Historic Impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson."

June 11, 1990: United States v. Eichman

Court rules that flag burning is protected by the First Amendment. Rehnquist dissents. June 11, 1990: Texas v. Johnson

Rehnquist dissents, as the court protects a citizen's right to burn a flag. June 29, 1988: Morrison v. Olson

Rehnquist delivers the court's opinion upholding Congress' right to create an independent counsel. September 1987

Rehnquist publishes "Supreme Court: How It Was, How It Is."

April 22, 1987: McCleskey v. Kemp

Rehnquist joins with the court in upholding capital punishment. Sept. 26, 1986

Rehnquist is sworn in as Chief Justice. June 4, 1985: Wallace v. Jaffree

Rehnquist dissents from the court's decision that moments of silence in public school are unconstitutional because it promotes prayer. June 28, 1978: University of California v. Bakke

Rehnquist joins four justices in maintaining that federal law does not permit a university's consideration of race in admissions. July 2, 1976: Gregg v. Georgia

Rehnquist, court refuse to rule that capital punishment is unconstitutional in all circumstances, upholding a new generation of state death penalty laws. Jan. 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade

Rehnquist dissents in Roe v. Wade, in which the majority based a woman's right to an abortion on a constitutional right of privacy. June 29, 1972: Furman v. Georgia

Rehnquist dissents from the Supreme Court conclusion that many state laws on capital punishment are capricious and arbitrary and therefore unconstitutional. Jan. 7, 1972

Rehnquist is sworn in as an associate justice.

Oct. 21, 1971

President Nixon nominates Rehnquist as an associate justice.

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