[SUPREME COURT]. Group photograph signed by the NINE JUSTICES of the Supreme Court, Washington, D. C., n.d. [ca.1986]. Signed by Chief Justice WILLIAM H. REHNQUIST ("William H. Rehnquist"), and by Justices THURGOOD MARSHALL ("Thurgood Marshall"), WILLIAM BRENNAN ("Wm. J. Brennan, Jr."), BYRON R. WHITE ("Byron R. White"), HARRY A. BLACKMUN ("Harry A. Blackmun"), SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR ("Sandra D. O'Connor"), LEWIS F. POWELL ("Lewis F. Powell"), JOHN PAUL STEVENS ("John Paul Stevens"), and ANTONIN SCALIA ("Antonin Scalia"). 8 x 11 15/16 in., with mount. Signed on lower mount.
A FINE COLOR IMAGE OF THE REHNQUIST-SCALIA COURT, likely taken after the elevation by President Reagan of William Rehnquist to Chief Justice, and the appointment of Scalia in the fall of 1986. Reagan dramatically reconfigured the Court by these changes. He had made only one nomination during his first term, appointing the first female jurist to sit on the bench, Sandra Day O'Connor. But with the retirement of Chief Justice Burger after the 1985 term, Reagan was able to make two important changes on the strength of a single vacancy: moving Rehnquist to the top seat, while filling Rehnquists's slot as Associate Justice with one of the most brilliant legal minds in the country: Antonin Scalia. Even though many Democratic lawmakers bristled at some of Scalia's conservative interpretations of the Constitution, he was speedily confirmed, and has remained a dominant intellectual force on the Court ever since. With the death of Justice Lewis Powell (pictured here) in 1987, Reagan would try to appoint another sharply conservative jurist, Robert Bork. He was rejected after a tumultuous confirmation battle.