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Rehnquist played key role in S.C. history

His high court rulings affected The Citadel, state death penalty.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist grew up in Wisconsin, was educated in Massachusetts and California, and raised a family in Arizona.

But his life’s work has had a particular impact on South Carolina people and institutions.

In 1983 Rehnquist cast the single dissenting vote in a case that determined whether Bob Jones University in Greenville, because it segregated students on the basis of race, should be eligible for tax-exempt status.

The other justices reasoned that the federal government had the right to deny Bob Jones the status because it discriminated.

Rehnquist defended his dissent by arguing that Congress, but not the IRS, was empowered to make that determination.

IN 1994-5 as the justice charged with overseeing S.C. matters before the Supreme Court, Rehnquist lifted the stay that prevented Shannon Faulkner from becoming the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel.

He again ruled in Faulkner’s favor when the school in 1995 tried to prevent her from joining the military college’s corps of cadets.

Read entire article at The State (SC)