From the New York Times:
When the Supreme Court resumes its term on Tuesday, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist will again be absent from the bench because of his illness. Although he is not bedridden and has been regularly attending the justices' private conferences, his empty black leather chair will certainly set off a new round of speculation and chatter about his tenure on the court.
The strong expectation, senior administration officials and others said, is that Chief Justice Rehnquist is making his best effort to serve out the remainder of the term that ends in June before resigning. And the only question, they say, is whether the 80-year-old chief justice, who is suffering from thyroid cancer and the effects of his treatment, will be able to do so.