The Supreme Court just issued the last of its decisions from this year's term before heading off for its summer recess. Will Chief Justice William Rehnquist be back for another round next year? He didn't say.
Rehnquist presided today as the court issued rulings in six cases. There were big-tickets items on the list -- rulings on file-sharing, on the posting of the Ten Commandments in public spaces, on the fate of the reporters in the Valerie Plame case -- but a Rehnquist announcement would have been the biggest news of all.
It didn't come, but that doesn't mean it won't. As the Associated Press noted the other day, there's no particular pattern or precedent for Supreme Court retirement announcements. Some have been announced from the bench, some have been announced with press conferences, some have been announced through a letter to the president.
So what does Rehnquist's silence mean? Only that the activists gearing up for the fight over his successor find themselves today in the same place they were yesterday -- waiting.