Over at Liberty, Timothy Sandefur has thoughts on the Rehnquist legacy. Which, he believes, is not much. He argues that the Rehnquist Court started out well, on a course of reviving federalism and property rights, then the trends were rolled back. A third area, protecting state sovereignty, survived better, but the problem is that cuts as often against individual rights as for them. There (and I think this is VERY preceptive) the problem was that Rehnquist was indifferent to individual rights, and thus failed to allow for the assumption of Madison and other framers that federalism was not an end in itself, but a means of creating a federal-state tension that would protect invididual rights.
He has a very interesting overall observation. There is serious division in the Court (of which vitrolic nomination processes are but a symptom), and it is a fundamental division or divisions. Is the written constitution a binding document, or just a guide (together with european law and whaterever else) for judges in achieving enlightenment? Are property rights real, or just a matter of whatever governments choose to allow? "This is a serious problem because a constitution is written for people of fundamentally shared views. Although people in a political society will always differ on particulars, no society can long exist without a core of deeply shared principles, which make the differences small by contrast."