Chief Justice Rehnquist will not be on the bench when the Supreme Court opens:
The 80-year-old Rehnquist, battling thyroid cancer, plans to skip the two-week cycle of oral arguments that starts Tuesday, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. He will continue reading transcripts of the arguments and voting on decisions, she said.
Rehnquist has been working mainly from home since Oct. 22, when he was hospitalized and then underwent a tracheotomy to help him breathe. He made his first public appearance last month at the presidential inauguration, appearing fragile as he delivered the oath of office.
Supreme Court nomination fight coming up next.
In other Supreme Court news, the Nebraska Supreme Court has spared the life of a dog:
The state Supreme Court granted clemency Friday to a dog sentenced to death for fighting with a neighbor's pet.
The high court ruled unanimously that Murphy, an Alaskan malamute-shepherd mix belonging to Doug and Lorele Dittoe, should not be killed for causing "relatively minor injury" to the other dog after slipping out of the couple's fenced-in yard in 2001.
Murphy had been deemed dangerous by the county sheriff, and a judge ordered her destroyed.
A great victory for anti-dog death penalty activists everywhere. I know there are some somewhere. Oh, here they are.