Dershowitz on Rehnquist
emaltz at camden.rutgers.edu
Sat Sep 10 11:14:50 PDT 2005
I nominate an oldy but goody, his dissent in Arnett v. Kennedy.
At 12:17 PM 9/10/2005 -0500, you wrote:
>I am curious about one sentence in the now notorious obituary: "Yet no
>opinion comes to mind which will be
>remembered as brilliant, innovative, or memorable." This is obviously
>wrong with regard to "innovative" or "memorable." Surely the opinion in
>National League of Cities is "innovative" by any reasonable criteria,
>and, for better and for worse, some of Rehnquist's opinions are surely
>"memorable," such as his disgraceful comment in Garrett about
>discrimination against the handicapped being thoroughly "rational" and
>therefore untouchable by Congress under Section 5. But what opinion
>would any of his admirers on this list offer as an example of
>"brilliance"? Perhaps, like Dan Farber, you think that "billiance" is
>overrated. But if you don't, then I'd be genuinely interested in which
>of his opinions are supposed to manifest that quality. One candidate, I
>suppose, is his dissent in Grutter, which does indeed demolish much of
>O'Connor's argument with regard to "critical mass" and the like. One
>problem, though, presumably for any of the justices, is whether it is
>Rehnquist who gets the A+ or, rather, his clerk.
>Indeed, to be frank, I'm not sure I can think of any opinions offhand in
>recent years, by any of the justices, that strike me as "brilliant." So
>I suppose that those of us who are skeptical of Rehnquist's "billiance"
>might address whether anyone else on the Court does any better.
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