Calling him “one of the great legal lights of our time,'' Gov. Jeb Bush expressed remorse Sunday over the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Rehnquist, who had battled thyroid cancer, died Saturday night at his home. He was 80.
“Chief Justice Rehnquist was a dedicated, effective justice who was one of the nation's premier interpreters of the Constitution,'' Bush said in a statement. “He applied the law with great wisdom, fairness, and commitment to the rule of law, right up until his last days.''
Rehnquist spent 33 years on the Supreme Court. His death opens a rare second vacancy on the nation's highest court and gives President Bush, the Florida governor's older brother, an opportunity shape the makeup of the court for years to come.