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10-25-04, 12:08 PM
I'm sure this would end up in here anyway...

Just off the wire:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist has been hospitalized with thyroid cancer, the court said Monday. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=615&e=1&u=/nm/20041025/pl_nm/court_rehnquist_dc

10-25-04, 12:09 PM
I don't know anything about thyroid cancer. How treatable is it? Will this force his retirement?

Red Dog
10-25-04, 12:10 PM
We'll have to wait and see how bad it is. Keep in mind that Justice Ginsburg has gone through a battle with colon cancer and she made it through okay.

10-25-04, 12:10 PM
I think this is of general interest enough to be in the Other forum...

I can't wait until the election is over and this sub-forum goes away considering we never did really determine the rules of what goes where.

10-25-04, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by Red Dog
We'll have to wait and see how bad it is. Keep in mind that Justice Ginsburg has gone through a battle with colon cancer and she made it through okay. I guess it depends on how early they caught it.

Red Dog
10-25-04, 12:15 PM
Also, this really only becomes important, politically-speaking, if Kerry beats Bush. I think the was already planning to step down, health issues or not, after this term if Bush wins.

Iron Chef
10-25-04, 12:25 PM
MSNBC is reporting that he's fine.


10-25-04, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by Red Dog
We'll have to wait and see how bad it is. Keep in mind that Justice Ginsburg has gone through a battle with colon cancer and she made it through okay.

The thyroid is closer to the brain than the colon is. However, with a lot of the justices' heads being up their asses, it may be a wash.

11-01-04, 10:36 AM
Ailing U.S. Chief Justice Unable to Return to Work

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for thyroid cancer, said he was unable to return to work at the Supreme Court on Monday as he had initially hoped.

"I underwent a tracheotomy nine days ago and, at the suggestion of my doctors, am continuing to recuperate at home," Rehnquist, 80, said in a two-paragraph statement released by the court.

"According to my doctors, my plan to return to the office today was too optimistic. I am continuing to take radiation and chemotherapy treatment on an outpatient basis," said Rehnquist, the leader of the court's conservative majority.

Disclosure of Rehnquist's illness a week ago drew attention to the powerful role in politics of the Supreme Court, which decided the outcome of the disputed 2000 presidential election in a 5-4 decision in favor of George W. Bush.

The winner of Tuesday's presidential election could get to make several appointments to the court, which has been closely divided between conservative and liberal factions, influencing its direction for decades and shifting the balance of power.

"While at home, I am working on court matters, including opinions for cases already argued. I am and will continue to be in close contact with my colleagues, my law clerks and members of the Supreme Court staff," Rehnquist said.

A court spokeswoman said a week ago that Rehnquist hoped to be on the bench when the justices reconvened on Monday after a two-week recess.


Rehnquist was released on Friday from Bethesda Naval Hospital after about a week of treatment. There was no word in his statement on when he might be able to return to the bench.

Supreme Court justices serve until they die or retire. The last change in the court's composition took place more than 10 years ago, the longest period of stability since 1823.

As a justice for 15 years and then as chief justice since 1986, Rehnquist has led a conservative legal revolution to expand states' rights, to restrict appeals by death-row inmates and to allow more public funding of religious activities.

During arguments in the first two weeks of October, Rehnquist sounded as if he had a cold. But according to medical experts, such hoarseness can be a symptom of thyroid cancer.

At the opening of Monday's court session, Justice John Paul Stevens said Rehnquist was unable to be present, but that the chief justice still could take part in deciding the two cases being argued, based on the transcripts of the arguments. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=5&u=/nm/20041101/ts_nm/court_rehnquist_dc

11-01-04, 02:45 PM

The announcement suggests that Rehnquist is suffering from anaplastic thyroid cancer, a rare and aggressive form of the disease, said Herman Kattlove, an oncologist and medical editor for the American Cancer Society. The anaplastic variety is the only type of thyroid cancer that is treated with chemotherapy.

``It's not treatable by surgery, only by chemotherapy and radiation,'' said Kattlove in a telephone interview. ``It's rarely, if ever, curable, and most patients die within a few months.''


Red Dog
02-18-05, 03:15 PM
Rehnquist Again to Be Absent as U.S. Supreme Court Returns to Session Next Week:

02-18-05, 03:32 PM
Justices should be term limited.


02-18-05, 03:35 PM
I agree.

02-18-05, 03:41 PM
It's like we're twins :)

02-18-05, 04:30 PM
Justices should be term limited.



02-18-05, 06:54 PM

02-18-05, 07:19 PM
What rationale was given for not putting term limits on Supreme Court Justices?

02-18-05, 07:28 PM
"What we really need is some unaccountable aspect to the government"

02-18-05, 07:44 PM
Just as some background, I am defending my thesis away from my M.A and am fast tracked for my Ph.d acceptance to Washington University in St. Louis.
My thesis is entitled "Supreme Court Trends In Executive Cases 1953-2003: An Empirical Study of Power" and as is likely my concentration is in judicial politics.

That being said the reason there are not term limits on Justices is tied to two things; legal norms and insulation from strong executives.

Legal norms largely dictate that precident is built slowly, upon each case, forming a bedrock of judicial law. Therefore, life-terms for Justices protect precident from rapid overhaul because of the injection of new Justices. One member, while able to sometimes swing votes in a close 5-4 case, will be subjected to an apprenticeship effect in the office. The new Justice will be coached by a senior member of the Court(much like the Scalia-Thomas relationship). This one new member in the Court will rarely be asked to write the opinion of the Court, since that is truly where precident is established.

The Founders feared that if the Supreme Court was not insulated from political edys that can effect legislative politics. Like the Senate was meant to do for the House, the Supreme Court was to provide a check on the government as a whole so that trends would not run roughshot over democracy. While it can be questioned if the Founders believe in the theory of Judicial Review(and I believe they did), the Constitution and the Federalist Papers make it clear that the judiciary provided the final line of defense against populist movements, a measure of aristocracy in our democracy. Referencing the strong executive, one need one to look so far as the attempted Court packing of FDR to see the danger of rapid overchange in the Court, or of the dangers of a judiciary not insulated a powerful executive.

02-18-05, 08:06 PM
Bah, you gonna' listen to someone who is defending a thesis on the subject, or are you gonna' listen to me?

I say it's bad. :grunt:


02-19-05, 12:02 AM
Is he going to grow really really tall now?

02-19-05, 01:28 PM
Is he going to grow really really tall now?

Why? :confused:

Just noticed someone posted that he has anaplastic thyroid cancer. If that's true... :(

02-19-05, 05:07 PM
"What we really need is some unaccountable aspect to the government"

I know you are being sarcastic, but it is true. These judges should be unaccountable. In my opinion, interpreting the constitutionality of statutes/etc. shouldn't change depending on the political whims of our society at a particular point in time... well, at least it shouldn't any more than it does already. I think going to a society where the supreme court has to be careful as to whose toes they step on would be a massive problem.

And, FWIW, there is a little accountability in the SC justices, in the way that we vote the president and he puts in the judges. If we don't like more "conservative" justices, we should elect a democrat president. If we don't like "liberal" justices, we should elect a republican president. And, if the judge does anything egregiously horrible, they can theoretically be impeached... though it has never/ will never succeed.

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