WASHINGTON - Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who has cancer, was hospitalized overnight Tuesday for fever, a spokeswoman said. Rehnquist, was taken by ambulance to an Arlington, Va., hospital Tuesday night and "was admitted for observation and tests," Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.
He had been coming to the court daily until Wednesday. Court officials, questioned about his absence, revealed that he was in the hospital.
Rehnquist, 80 and ill with thyroid cancer, has been the subject of intense speculation about whether he would retire. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, 75, announced earlier this month that she would be leaving.
The confirmation of the hospitalization followed unusual comings and goings at Rehnquist's suburban Virginia town home. A court police officer made several trips to the house, leaving each time with various personal items. First the officer carried out Rehnquist's distinctive cane and a shirt. Later, he brought out shoes and pants.
It was the second time in less than four months that Rehnquist was taken by ambulance to Arlington Hospital. In March, he was brought in with breathing problems.