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Possible Successors to Chief Justice Rehnquist

As the Supreme Court ended another session, the question many Washington watchers asked was whether ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist would step down -- and if so, who would replace him. The surprise retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor added to President Bush's options.

The president's dilemma is whether to elevate a currently sitting justice. Historically, such appointments are rare. Of the 16 chief justices in American history, only five previously served as associate justices.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.
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