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Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C. : Gold Stripes Adorn New Rehnquist Robe

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, 70, sent shock waves through the marble hallways of the U.S. Supreme Court when he showed up wearing a black robe with brilliant gold stripes on each sleeve. For generations, Supreme Court justices have worn plain black robes--a visible sign of their fierce neutrality. Rehnquist said he personally designed the new adornment--four inch-wide horizontal stripes per sleeve, situated midway between shoulder and elbow. He got the idea, he said, by watching the Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera “Iolanthe.” A British lord chancellor is decorated that way.


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