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Notable Phi Delta Phis

From time to time we like to highlight just a few of the many hundreds of notable Phi Delta Phi's that have been instrumental in shaping the study and practice of law

Notable Phi Delta Phi: William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States

Birth and Death:
October 1, 1924 - September 3, 2005

Chief Justice Rehnquist died on Sept. 3, 2005 in an Arlington, Virginia, hospital. Rehnquist was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October 2004 and had been receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments on an outpatient basis. At the time of his death, Rehnquist was with his three children, James, Janet, and Nancy.

William Rehnquist was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Richard Nixon, taking his seat as an Associate Justice on Jan. 7, 1972. He was nominated as Chief Justice by President Ronald Reagan and assumed that office on September 26, 1986. Rehnquist is now the longest serving Chief Justice since Melville Fuller, who died in office in 1910.

Senate Confirmations:
Rehnquist was affirmed as Associate Justice by a 68-26 Senate vote on October 21, 1971, and as Chief Justice by a 65-33 vote on Sept. 25, 1986

Growing Up - Military Service:
Rehnquist was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Oct. 1, 1924. After graduating from high school, he attended Kenyon College for one year before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force. Rehnquist served as a weather observer in North Africa during World War II. He married Natalie Cornell (now deceased) in 1953 and has three children— James, Janet, and Nancy.

Legal Education - Experience:
Rehnquist received a B.A., M.A., and LL.B. from Stanford University and an M.A. from Harvard University. He served as a law clerk for Justice Robert H. Jackson of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1951 and 1952 terms, and practiced law in Phoenix, Arizona from 1953–1969. He served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel from 1969–1971. While working for Justice Jackson, Rehnquist wrote a memorandum arguing against the integration of white schools during the Supreme Court's deliberations in the landmark civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education. Rehnquist has since consistently claimed that the memo was written at the direction of Justice Jackson and expressed Jackson's opinions rather than his own.

As an Associate Justice, Rehnquist served under Chief Justice Warren Burger and established himself as a conservative justice. During his service on the Burger Court, Rehnquist voted against women's abortion rights in Roe v. Wade and programs to expand school desegregation, while voting in favor of school prayer, capital punishment and states' rights.

Rehnquist was elevated to Chief Justice by President Reagan in 1986, following the resignation of Chief Justice Berger. Despite a controversial Senate hearing, he was confirmed by a vote of 65-33 and took office on Sept. 25, 1986.

In 1999, Rehnquist became only the second Chief Justice in history to preside over a presidential impeachment hearing during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

William Hubbs Rehnquist died of thyroid cancer on September 3, 2005.

President Theodore Roosevelt

Born: 10/27/1858
Birthplace: New York City, N.Y.

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City on Oct. 27, 1858. A Harvard graduate, he was early interested in ranching, in politics, and in writing picaresque historical narratives. He was a Republican member of the New York Assembly in 1882–84, an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of New York in 1886, a U.S. civil service commissioner under Benjamin Harrison, police commissioner of New York City in 1895, and assistant secretary of the Navy under McKinley in 1897. He resigned in 1898 to help organize a volunteer regiment, the Rough Riders, and take a more direct part in the war with Spain. He was elected governor of New York in 1898 and vice president in 1900, in spite of lack of enthusiasm on the part of the bosses.

Assuming the presidency of the assassinated McKinley in 1901, Roosevelt embarked on a wide-ranging program of government reform and conservation of natural resources. He ordered antitrust suits against several large corporations, threatened to intervene in the anthracite coal strike of 1902, which prompted the operators to accept arbitration, and, in general, championed the rights of the “little man” and fought the “malefactors of great wealth.” He was also responsible for such progressive legislation as the Elkins Act of 1903, which outlawed freight rebates by railroads; the bill establishing the Department of Commerce and Labor; the Hepburn Act, which gave the I.C.C. greater control over the railroads; the Meat Inspection Act; and the Pure Food and Drug Act.

In foreign affairs, Roosevelt pursued a strong policy, permitting the instigation of a revolt in Panama to dispose of Colombian objections to the Panama Canal and helping to maintain the balance of power in the East by bringing the Russo-Japanese War to an end, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize, the first American to achieve a Nobel prize in any category. In 1904, he decisively defeated Alton B. Parker, his conservative Democratic opponent.

Roosevelt's increasing coldness toward his successor, William Howard Taft, led him to overlook his earlier disclaimer of third-term ambitions and to reenter politics. Defeated by the machine in the Republican convention of 1912, he organized the Progressive Party (Bull Moose) and polled more votes than Taft, though the split brought about the election of Woodrow Wilson. From 1915 on, Roosevelt strongly favored intervention in the European war. He became deeply embittered at Wilson's refusal to allow him to raise a volunteer division. He died in Oyster Bay, N.Y., on Jan. 6, 1919. He was married twice: in 1880 to Alice Hathaway Lee, who died in 1884, and in 1886 to Edith Kermit Carow.