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56 Syracuse L. Rev. 407 (2005-2006)
The Chief and US: Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the News Media, and the Need for Dialogue between Judges and Journalists

handle is hein.journals/syrlr56 and id is 417 raw text is: THE CHIEF AND US: CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM
Tony Maurot
The death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist on September 3, 2005,
brought to mind a number of memories of this unpretentious and interesting
man from my twenty-five years of covering the Supreme Court.
He was a brilliant and modest jurist who loved the Supreme Court and
loved history but did not, I am fairly sure, love the news media. In the few
dealings he had with the reporters who covered the Court, he was courteous
and even patient, but he viewed us as something of a distraction, not
essential in any way to the functioning of the Supreme Court that he loved.
In this article I will mention some of my recollections, hopefully not
in the manner of a self-important memoir that is more about me than about
him. Rather, the point of my anecdotes will be to illustrate some larger
themes about the relationship, such as it is, between journalists and
judges-primarily at the Supreme Court, but by analogy at courts
throughout the country. It is often a wary relationship, but it is a necessary
and unavoidable one-and it could stand improvement, for the benefit of
the judiciary and of legal journalism as well.
One quick illustration of the gulf between judges and the journalists
who cover them is something the Chief Justice told several of us reporters
over the years concerning one of the biggest problems we journalists face
in covering the Court. In the natural rhythm of the Supreme Court's work,
June is crunch time, when the Justices start cranking out sometimes long-
pending opinions in advance of adjournment at the end of the month.
Often, the   most   contentious-and  therefore, usually  the  most
t Tony Mauro has covered the Supreme Court for twenty-five years, first for Gannett
News Service and USA TODAY, and since 2000 for Legal Times, American Lawyer Media
and law.com. He is the author of Illustrated Great Decisions of the Supreme Court,
published by CQ Press in 2000, and published in its second edition by CQ Press in
December 2005.

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