Rehnquist: the Unh-hnh Moment: Years ago when the world was young, Mr. and Mrs. got to share a party boat with, inter alia,Chief Justice William Rehnquist. After assorted bits of casual conversation and observation she offered her insight. "He's a menace."... What was news to her was not the substance, but personality: he was si easy-going, genial, modest, low-key: a guy in a baseball cap.... It was a good call.... Mr.Nice guy, setting aside, say, his utter indifference to the horrors of racial discrimation and his near-manic enthusiasm for the death penalty. Also--but this may have taken more careful scrutiny--as manipulative and result-oriented as any judge since his great doppleganger, William O. Douglas. All by way of background for one I hadn't heard until today. It's in the New York Times review of a new biography....
After years of promoting states "rights"--or "federalism"--and scoring some big victories, he surprised court-watchers by writing a decision holding that Congress could force states to give their employees family and medical leave. He may have gone "wobbly", as Margaret Thatcher might have said, from watching the struggles of his daughter, a single mother.