The Rehnquist Court consists of the decisions of the United States Supreme Court between October 1986, when William Rehnquist began serving as the Chief Justice, and October 2005, when he was replaced by John Roberts after his death. It was the successor to the Burger Court and the predecessor of the Roberts Court.
The Rehnquist Court had over time the following members:
- Chief Justice William Rehnquist
- Associate Justice William Brennan
- Associate Justice Byron White
- Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall
- Associate Justice Lewis Powell
- Associate Justice Harry Blackmun
- Associate Justice John Paul Stevens
- Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
- Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (since September 1986)
- Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy (since February 1988)
- Associate Justice David Souter (since October 1990)
- Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (since October 1991)
- Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (since August 1993)
- Associate Justice Stephen Breyer (since August 1994)
The Rehnquist Court was most influential in limiting the federal government by enforcing principles of federalism, and in beginning to curtail some of the liberal decisions of the Warren Court. Some scholars have argued the court's decisions were not very significant.
- Robinson, Robert. "The Relative (Un)Importance of Rehnquist Court Decisions." Politics & Policy 38, no. 5 (October 2010): 907-938.