For a few brief hours on June 5, the Supreme Court retirement rumor mill, idle since last summer, lurched into full-tilt production.

The Arizona Republic Web site reported that speculation was increasing on Capitol Hill that Chief Justice William Rehnquist planned to retire “as early as this summer.” The report had special significance because of the newspaper’s contacts in the Arizona congressional delegation as well as its familiarity with Supreme Court justices who have called Arizona home: Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor.

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