Richard Garnett, the Notre Dame law professor who wrote the 2012 Supreme Court Roundup for our September issue, reviews John Jenkins’ new biography of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist in the Wall Street Journal today.
Although Garnett reports that the book will teach you “almost nothing about Rehnquist’s tenure as chief justice,” his sharp review provides a fascinating introduction to the man’s life and legacy. Here’s a taste:
Rehnquist was a brilliant attorney and jurist, a devoted husband and father, a generous teacher and mentor, a maps-and-weather geek and a Green Bay Packers fan . . . . Yes, he was a conservative, a Goldwater supporter and a Nixon appointee, but it is more importantand it was more important to himthat he was a lawyer’s lawyer with a clear-eyed appreciation for the obligations that came with his, and the court’s, role.
The entire review is available here .