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Teary-eyed Supreme Court justices and a long line of other Americans paid their last respects to William H. Rehnquist on Tuesday at the Court where he served for 33 years. Among the pallbearers was his former clerk, John Roberts, the man chosen to succeed the nation’s 16th chief justice. Roberts and seven other pallbearers bore the flag-draped casket up some 40 steps of the high court to the Great Hall, where marble busts of all the former chief justices line the wall. Several of the justices wept as they stood around Rehnquist’s casket, including Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Rehnquist died Saturday at the age of 80. President Bush initially named Roberts to replace O’Connor, who announced in July that she would step down. Bush said Monday he would nominate Roberts to be chief justice instead. Official Washington reflected the loss of a Supreme Court justice with flags at half-staff. Roberts’ confirmation hearings, which had been scheduled to begin Tuesday in the Senate, were delayed until next Monday. On Wednesday, funeral services will be at 2 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, open to friends and family. Bush will be a speaker. In the Great Hall on Tuesday, Rehnquist’s casket was placed on the Lincoln Catafalque, the structure on which President Lincoln’s coffin rested in the Rotunda of the Capitol a century and a half earlier. The doors to the Court chamber were open at the east end of the hall. Lining the Court steps to greet the casket were somber-faced justices, former clerks and Court staff. Roberts and the other pallbearers, many former clerks, took the casket from the hearse and began the slow climb up the steps. Absent were Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and David Souter. The Rev. George Evans Jr., the Rehnquist family pastor at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Virginia, read from psalms and led the Lord’s Prayer. There were audible sobs from the family. Rehnquist’s personal employees were the first to make a circle around the coffin. A stream of other Court workers followed. Two sprays of flowers and a large portrait of the chief justice were on display. After the brief ceremony, a long line of people formed outside the Court and people began walking inside past the coffin of the chief justice. Among the first was Sarah Chusid, 24, an intern at Mobilizing America’s Youth, a private organization that seeks to increase the involvement of young people across the political spectrum. Although she considers herself a liberal, Chusid said she respected the influential role that Rehnquist played on the Court for more than three decades. “This is a pivotal time in the Court’s history; I had to come down and bear witness to this event,” she said. Public viewing was to take place until 10 p.m. on Tuesday and from 10 a.m. until noon Wednesday. Rehnquist, whose brand of conservatism pushed the Court to the right, was involved in two extraordinary interventions in the executive branch — the impeachment trial of President Clinton and the settlement of the 2000 election in Bush’s favor. He oversaw a Court that dealt with the separation of church and state, the rights of states, affirmative action, abortion and gay rights. He died after a long battle with thyroid cancer. Rehnquist was Lutheran, but his funeral will be held at a Catholic Church. Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, said Rehnquist’s family had requested use of the church, primarily because of space. She said church rules allow a Catholic church to be used for other Christian services if there is a need. Gibbs noted that Rehnquist had been to St. Matthew’s many times over the years to attend the annual Red Mass, which is dedicated to judges, lawyers and others in the legal system. She said plans call for “just a very simple Lutheran service” led by Evans. St. Matthew’s was the site of President Kennedy’s funeral in 1963. The funeral of former Justice William Brennan, a Catholic, also was held there. Burial at Arlington National Cemetery will be private. The bodies of Rehnquist’s two immediate predecessors, Warren E. Burger and Earl Warren, also are buried at Arlington. Burger and Warren lay in repose in the Supreme Court Building before their services. As chief justice, Rehnquist is entitled to a funeral that includes a 19-gun salute, four ruffles and flourishes from drums and bugles, and the last 32 bars of the John Philip Sousa march “Stars and Stripes Forever” among other military honors. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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