- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 18, 2003


Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is not exactly cuddly, but he is a real doll.

The impassive visage of the Supreme Court leader is depicted, along with his signature gold-striped judicial robes, on a bobble-head figurine.

The doll is the brainchild of the editors at a small legal journal who intend it as a peculiar tribute to Chief Justice Rehnquist, 78, in what might be his last year on the bench.

“I’ve never met the man and I probably never will, but we gambled on the possibility that three decades of being called ‘your honor’ has not left him without a sense of humor about himself,” said Ross E. Davies, a law professor at George Mason University and editor in chief of the journal Green Bag.

Chief Justice Rehnquist learned about the doll when one of the little guys appeared in his chambers this month. Mr. Davies will not say how it got there, but Chief Justice Rehnquist got a good laugh out of it. He even sent Mr. Davies a thank-you letter.

The ceramic figurine looks like Chief Justice Rehnquist and features inside details about his work on the bench. He is depicted standing atop a color map that was a central feature of a 1979 case he wrote involving 19th-century railroad easements. He is holding an accurate rendition of the bound volumes of Supreme Court opinions.

The miniature chief justice, about 8 inches tall, has become a coveted commodity since word of it spread among lawyers and Supreme Court groupies this month. Mr. Davies said he has received scores of calls or e-mails from people angling for a mini-chief of their own.

No such luck, Mr. Davies said. For now there are just two prototype dolls, his copy and the one he gave Chief Justice Rehnquist. A limited run of 1,000 dolls is in the works. They will be given to current Green Bag subscribers.

Mr. Davies said he doesn’t plan a second run.

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