Originally Posted by paintmered
I have a question - if on the off chance a ruling has to go to the U.S. Supreme Court while Rhenquist is out on medical leave, does the court wait until he is healthy enough to hear the case? Do they continue with the remaining Justices? Is there a temporary judge from a lower court that sits in his absense? Who takes the role of Chief Justice?
The Senior Most Justice, in this case Justice Stevens, presides in the event the Chief is gone. That's what happened today.
I would bet that Rehnquist, being the long time GOP activist before his judicial career, would crawl thru broken glass to make sure he was there to hear oral arguments for a Bush v. Kerry case.
As long as he's there during Oral, he can vote on the case, as he can obviously just take the case work home and work on it with his staff from there.