I just heard the news of Chief Justice Rehnquist's passing on my car radio as I returned from an errand. I was instantly reminded of how, during my law school days in around 1980, my left-liberal Constitutional Law professor regarded Justice Rehnquist (he was not yet Chief) with a sort of grudging respect. Professor McCormack considered Rehnquist brilliant but dangerous. Oh, well, the Republic not only survived, but seems to have thrived. Justice Rehnquist was an exemplary Chief Justice who understood the dignity his position required. He also got the cases right almost all the time.
My prediction, without having yet read any prognostications from the Wise Men of the internet, is that President Bush will appoint a Hispanic. Maybe it will be Gonzalez. I hope not. Emilio Garza would be terrific. Manuel Estrada would be even better than terrific, but I wonder if the President has the political capital right now to carry that off?