William Rehnquist was born on October 1, 1924 in Milwaukee Wisconsin. He was schooled at Stanford University where he received his masters degree in political science. He later went to Harvard and graduated with another masters degree this time in government. He returned to Stanford and graduated from its law school where he was class valedictorian. He was confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate on January 7, 1972. This schooling was the ground work to a long and distinguished career in the American justice system.
Chief Justice Earl Warren was head of the court as Nixon was taking office. Warren and Nixon pretty much despised each other as did many of Warren's colleagues. However once Warren was sure that Nixon was going to win the presidency, he immediately retired. Since this was an election year, Nixon was focusing much of his campaign on appointing a more conservative judges than Warren for his eventual replacement.
Warren Earl Burger was appointed as Chief Justice in 1969 by newly elected Richard Nixon. Nixon was not done appointing conservative judges. He wanted someone that would simply interpret the law and not create laws, a "care taker of the Constitution" as he put it. Rehnquist was Nixon's final appointment to the court after John Marshall retired. Rehnquist quickly took on the role of a strict conservative by voting against legalized abortions and expansion of school desegregation. He was for school prayer, states' rights, and capital punishment. He also had many conflicts over patents and copyrights which he supported. Chief Justice Warren Burger retired in 1986 during Ronald Reagan's office. Rehnquist was nominated by Reagan to fill the role of Chief Justice. Although there were controversies the Senate confirmed his appointment in a vote of 65-33 vote. He took office on September 26, 1986.