William Rehnquist's tenure on the Supreme Court presents a Sphinx-like riddle for students of the separation of powers: “What animal is that which in the morning goes on four, at noon on two, and in the evening on three feet?” One might well answer: “Rehnquist's separation of powers jurisprudence, as it is a difficult creature to characterize, arguably evolving over time.” In adolescence, it appeared an originalist on all fours, in manhood it walked erect, a Byron White functionalist, and in old age . . . well, perhaps the Sphinx might just devour one after all! Indeed, it is difficult to identify a principle unifying the late Chief Justice's separation of powers cases.
58 Stan. L. Rev. 1735 (2006).
Bybee, Jay S., "William Rehnquist, the Separation of Powers, and the Riddle of the Sphinx" (2006). Scholarly Works. Paper 353.