Rehnquist Vote Is Expected

By Tom Mirga — September 10, 1991 1 min read

The Senate is expected this week to confirm President Reagan’s nomination of William H. Rehnquist to succeed Warren E. Burger as Chief Justice of the United States.

Mr. Burger, who has headed the nation’s highest court for 17 years, in June announced he was stepping down to devote full attention to his job as chairman of the national commission planning the celebration of the Constitution’s 200th anniversary next year.

After several stormy sessions, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Aug. 14 voted 13 to 5 to approve the nomination of Mr. Rehnquist, who joined the Court in 1971 and who is widely considered its most conservative member.

Also, the committee unanimously approved Antonin Scalia, a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, to fill Mr. Rehnquist’s seat. The Republican- controlled Senate is also expected to confirm Mr. Scalia’s nomination this week.

Most legal observers agreed that Mr. Burger’s departure and the addition of Mr. Scalia would have little impact on the panel’s ideological balance-both are considered outspoken conservatives. In recent years, the Court has been dominated on most issues by a moderate bloc composed of Associate Justices Harry A. Blackmun, Sandra Day O’Connor, Lewis F. Powell Jr., John Paul Stevens, and Byron R. White

A version of this article appeared in the September 10, 1986 edition of Education Week as Rehnquist Vote Is Expected