The late Chief Justice Wm. Rehnquist left quite a legacy. In the words of Alan Dershowitz:
Chief Justice William Rehnquist set back liberty, equality, and human rights perhaps more than any American judge of this generation. His rise to power speaks volumes about the current state of American values.
15 reasons not to half-mast yr Old Glory:
01) 1952: penned a memo backing the separate-but-equal illogic of Plessy v. Ferguson, arguing it "was right & should be reaffirmed"; he later perjured himself when, in the words of historian Mark Tushnet, he tried to "smear the reputation of a great justice" by pawning the views off as Jackson's
02) attacked Brown v. Board of Education
03) 1964: testified against a public ordinance ordering the desegregation of public accommodations
04) 1964: challenged the voting qualifications of African- & Hispanic-Americans as part of the Republicans' thuggish "Operation Eagle Eye" during the 1964 election
05) engineered an unprecedented widening of presidential power under Nixon, defending the Cambodian invasion, wiretapping, break-ins, & "preventative detention"
06) fought to limit the power of Congress & federal courts to enforce civil rts, desegregate schools, regulate business in the public interest
07) undercut Miranda's limits on search-and-seizure
08) added exceptions to the exclusionary rule & upheld pretrial detention
09) 1978: opposed gay rights, reasoning, more or less, "that gays were like people with a contagious disease, and that the government had every right to discriminate against them to protect the public"
10) 1972: dissented against the legalization of abortion (Roe v. Wade; again in Planned Parenthood v. Casey)
11) 1976: voted to restore capital punishment after its 4-yr abolition in the US
12) 1992: upheld the death penalty for minors & the mentally retarded (Herrera v. Collins)
13) 1983: only justice to say that Bob Jones University had a legal right to keep African-Americans off its campus
14) bought a home in Vermont with a restrictive covenant that barred sale of the property to ''any member of the Hebrew race"
15) outraged Jewish classmates at Stanford by goose-stepping and heil-Hitlering with brown-shirted friends in front of a dormitory that housed the school’s few Jewish students
Bibliography: Harvard's Alan Dershowitz, The Nation's David Corn & Bruce Shapiro
The way Dershowitz phrases #9 is highly dubious. And I'd argue that, legally, Bob Jones University, as a private university, has the right to exclude whoever it wants as long as it doesn't receive federal money. But times have changed too.
I understand what you're saying; I think I'll look into his Rehnquist's actual words to see for myselfPost a Comment