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Rehnquist Says He Has No Plans to Retire

Chief Justice William Rehnquist issues a statement that he is not planning to announce his retirement, and he will stay on the Supreme Court as long as his health allows. The 80-year-old chief justice was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last October. He was released Thursday from a Virginia hospital after being treated for fever.

"I want to put to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement," Rehnquist said in a statement to the Associated Press late Thursday. "I am not about to announce my retirement. I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits."

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Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.