American Judges Association


Date of this Version

April 2002


Published in Court Review: The Journal of the American Judges Association, 39:1 (2002), pp. 34-42. Copyright © 2002 National Center for State Courts. Used by permission. Online at


The United States Supreme Court’s 2001-2002 term marked Chief Justice Rehnquist’s 30th anniversary on the bench. Given the continuing prominence of 5-4 splits along typically ideological lines, the chief justice’s leadership is as significant as it ever was. In the context of the Court’s civil decisions, the chief justice’s importance to the conservative bloc was demonstrated in the case immunizing states from privateparty complaints adjudicated by administrative agencies and in the Court’s acceptance of a policy permitting public vouchers to be used for religious school tuition. The Court also confronted significant issues regarding the First Amendment and limitations on protecting children from pornography; regulation of HMOs; student privacy; and, possibly most noteworthy, the applicability and limitations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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