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Rehnquist's health remains a mystery

[JURIST] The health of Chief Justice William Rehnquist remains largely a mystery since the disclosure several weeks ago that the nation's top jurist has thyroid cancer, but several upcoming events may serve as an indicator of the status of Rehnquist's condition, chief among which is the January inauguration of President Bush's second term. If Rehnquist, who by then will likely have completed most of his cancer treatments, is unable to attend and perform the chief justice's traditional duty of swearing in the president, it would be a significant sign to the nation that he will be unable to continue in his role, fueling retirement and replacement speculation for the first opening on the court in a decade. There have only been eight presidential oaths administered by someone other than a chief justice, often in the case of assassination or other special circumstances. See the full report from AP.

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