The public memorial for the late United States Chief Justice William Rehnquist is under way at the Supreme Court building in Washington.
Mr. Rehnquist died of cancer Saturday at the age of 80. President Bush paid his respects to the late chief justice Tuesday, pausing for a moment of silence beside his flag-draped coffin in the Great Hall of the high court. The public memorial continues until noon Wednesday, when he will be buried in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
The conservative chief justice was first appointed to the nine-member court by President Nixon in 1972. President Reagan appointed him chief justice 14 years later, in 1986. U.S. Supreme Court justices are appointed for life-long terms. President Bush has nominated federal appeals court judge John Roberts to be the next chief justice. Senate confirmation hearings for Mr. Roberts are scheduled to begin Monday.