Scope and Content of Collection
Title: William H. Rehnquist Papers
Collection number: 2009C15
Rehnquist, William H., 1924-2005
571 manuscript boxes, 318 cubic foot boxes, 2 card file boxes, 2 oversize boxes
548 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Documents the Supreme Court terms of William H. Rehnquist, associate justice from 1972 to 1986 and chief justice from 1986
to 2005. Materials include court case files, administrative files, conference files, correspondence, speeches and writings,
book manuscripts, invitations, and other materials. Also includes Rehnquist's law school notebooks from his time at Stanford
Law School in 1951 and 1952.
Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
Languages represented in the collection:
Boxes 322-331 and 359-893 closed. The remainder of the collection is open for research.
U.S. Supreme Court case files and related materials for the Supreme Court's October Terms 1975-2005 in boxes 359-830 shall
remain closed during the lifetime of any member of the Supreme Court who served with William H. Rehnquist.
Impeachment files in boxes 322-331, and 893 are closed. Video depositions within the Impeachment files in box 330 are closed
until 2048 in accordance with Senate Resolution 474.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to
copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives
at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see
or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives
[Identification of item], William H. Rehnquist Papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2008
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
Born on 1 October 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, William Hubbs Rehnquist served in the Army Air Corps in North Africa during
World War II. Once the war ended he attended Stanford University where he received a B.A. in political science. He then earned
master's degrees from both Stanford and Harvard, before completing Stanford Law School in 1952. After completing law school,
Rehnquist served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson.
Rehnquist married Natalie Cornell, whom he had met at Stanford during his law school years, on 29 August 1953. They had three
children. Rehnquist practiced law in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1953 to 1969, becoming active in Republican politics. Joining
President Richard Nixon's administration in 1969 as head of the office of legal counsel in the Justice Department, in October
1971, President Nixon nominated Rehnquist to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court.
Rehnquist served as an associate justice until 1986, when President Ronald Reagan nominated him to replace retiring Chief
Justice Warren Earl Burger. Rehnquist was the sixteenth Chief Justice, serving more than 30 years on the Supreme Court. He
has the distinction of serving as the second Chief Justice in U.S. history to preside over an impeachment trial of a president,
in 1999. A notable decision in Rehnquist's tenure as chief justice was Bush v. Gore (2000), which effectively decided the
2000 presidential election for George W. Bush by stopping the recount of contested ballots in Florida.
As Chief Justice, Rehnquist stated that his goal was to be remembered as a good administrator. Known for his strong leadership,
conservative interpretation of the Constitution, and decisions enhancing the power of the states in the federal system, Rehnquist
retained his conservative perspective throughout his tenure on the Court. Ill with thyroid cancer, Rehnquist served as Chief
Justice as long as his health permitted. He died on September 3, 2005, in Arlington, Virginia, and is buried in Arlington
- "William Rehnquist" in American Decades 1990-1999. Tandy McConnell, ed. Gale Group, 2001 in Biography Resource Center. Farmington
Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. Accessed 3 November 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC
- "William Rehnquist" The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives. Ed. Arnold Markoe, Karen Markoe, and Kenneth T. Jackson.
Vol. 7: 2003-2005. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2007 in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008.
Accessed 3 November 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC
Scope and Content of Collection
The William H. Rehnquist papers mainly document Rehnquist's time as a justice of the United States Supreme Court, from 1972
to 1986, then as chief justice from 1986 to 2005. A small amount of material also documents Rehnquist's studies at Stanford
Law School in 1951 and 1952.
The Stanford Law School Notebooks and Journal contain Rehnquist's class notes, with another volume documenting his accounts
and personal journal entries with non-continuously dated portions from 1947 to 1965.
Documentation on the U.S. Supreme Court includes administrative files, which document the functional management of the court.
Materials include stays, opinions, subject files, correspondence, conference and order lists, and vote sheets. Some administrative
files contain collected information on subjects such as abortion cases or capital cases.
U.S. Supreme Court Case files contain official printed drafts of each case opinion circulated among the justices. Some files
also contain concise correspondence, memoranda, and other materials regarding the case. In many instances, there are multiple
cases within one file. Materials are organized by the court term, or October term, in which the case was heard.
The U.S. Supreme Court Administrative and Case files from 1972 through 1974, and Rehnquist's Stanford Law School Notebooks
and Journal were opened November 17, 2008. Printed opinions and syllabi, Correspondence files, and materials on Rehnquist's
books, as well as Additional materials including speeches, writings, notebooks, and other documents, opened in August 2009.
The collection is organized into series: Law School Notebooks and Journal, U.S. Supreme Court Administrative Files 1969-1974,
U.S. Supreme Court Case Files 1972-1974, U.S. Supreme Court Opinions and Syllabi, Correspondence, Books, Speeches and Writings,
Invitations, Impeachment Files, Notebooks and Calendars, Event Files, Federal Judiciary Administrative Files, National Historic
and Public Records Commission files, Supreme Court of the United States Employee Photograph Directories, Personal Files and
Miscellany, and Closed U.S. Supreme Court Files 1975-2005.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
United States. Supreme Court