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Chief Justice Rehnquist Rushed to Hospital


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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist was taken to the hospital with a fever Thursday, the second emergency treatment for the 80-year-old ailing justice in two months.


Rehnquist, who has cancer, had been taken by ambulance to Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia, in July and admitted for observation and tests.


Supreme Court spokesman Ed Turner said Rehnquist returned to the same hospital "for evaluation" after developing a fever on Thursday.


Rehnquist had been working at the court earlier in the day and has maintained a full-time schedule while being treated for thyroid cancer.


He has refused to release specific details about his illness, but in July he released a statement pledging to remain on the job.


"I want to put to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement," he said then, the day he was released after two days in the hospital. "I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits."


As with his last hospitalization, the Supreme Court released the briefest of statements and had no other information.


"The chief justice developed a fever today. He was taken to Virginia Hospital Center for evaluation," Turner said.


Rehnquist, who has been through at least one round of chemotherapy and radiation, surprised many people when he presided at President Bush's inauguration in January and returned to the bench in March after five months.


When the Supreme Court ended its term in late June, many court watchers thought Rehnquist would be stepping down. Instead, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, 75, announced her retirement on July 1, giving the court its first vacancy in 11 years.


Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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