William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, died Saturday evening from complications related to thyroid cancer. Rehnquist has been on the Supreme Court since 1972 and was nominated to become Chief Justice by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. In 1999, he became only the second Chief Justice to preside over a presidential impeachment hearing. He was 80.
While on the Court, Rehnquist has been viewed as a conservative who quietly advanced his strict-constructionist views. Despite differences in ideology, he has been respected by his Supreme Court collegues and has lead the court to be measured and fair. He has been viewed as a unifying figure on the court.
Rehnquist’s death brings about the second vacancy on the Supreme Court during George W. Bush’s (R) presidency.