Friday, July 15, 2005

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In honor of Justice Rehnquist....

Anyone attempting to earn a Ph.D. is familiar with Matt Groening's Life is Hell strip about graduate school. Patricularly this part:


In honor of Chief Justice William Rehnquist's contrarian announcement that he's staying on for a while, I thought it worth reprinting this fact from Charles Lane's profile of Rehnquist in the July/August 2005 issue of Stanford magazine:

Applying credits earned at Kenyon and diligently working through the summers, Rehnquist picked up his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science in 1948. Then he left for Harvard, where [his undergraduate mentor Charles] Fairman had studied, with the idea of gaining a PhD in government. But something about Cambridge did not agree with him. Perhaps it was the cold weather; perhaps it was the liberal politics of what detractors called “the Kremlin on the Charles.” “I remember him saying he did not like Harvard, and he did not like political science,” says Craig Bradley, a professor of law at Indiana University who clerked for Rehnquist in the court’s 1975-76 term. “He didn’t think much of the professoriate.”

Bradley says Rehnquist saw academics generally as “liberal blatherers.” By the fall of 1949, he was back at Stanford, enrolled at law school.

Readers should feel free to speculate on how history would have changed had the Harvard Government department not been as hostile an environment to Rehnquist.

posted by Dan on 07.15.05 at 01:32 PM