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Supreme Court
How was the presidency a path to the Supreme Court?

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William Howard Taft
Supreme Court Chief Justice
1921-1930

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William H. Rehnquist
Chief Justice
1986-present

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William Howard Taft is the only president to have also served as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and he did so after his presidency. Some people raised concerns about a politician's ability to serve in a non-partisan role. However, President Taft is remembered as an effective administrator and a detail-oriented person, which accounts for much of his success as chief justice of the Supreme Court where he served in the 1920s. William H. Rehnquist, the current chief justice has some distinct duties. He presides over the Court as well as other federal organizations. However, he also shares some responsibilities with the associate justices, like asking questions in oral argument and writing decisions in cases.

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