Friday, July 1, 2005

The next battle in the cultural war

Dear President Bush:

This is to inform you of my decision to retire from my position as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States effective upon the nomination and confirmation of my successor. It has been a great privilege, indeed, to have served as a member of the court for 24 terms. I will leave it with enormous respect for the integrity of the court and its role under our constitutional structure.


Sandra Day O'Connor

Source: Washington Post


Blogger indygirl said...

NOOOOO! Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. NOOOOO!

July 01, 2005  
Blogger Doug said...

This will be awkward. If Rehnquist had been the one to bail, Bush putting a wingnut in there would be a wash.

As it is, I suspect Bush will try another Bolton-style nomination. Just put the hardest right-wing social conservative he can think of up there to get his base all pumped up.

July 01, 2005  
Blogger torporific said...

That's exactly what I fear. O'Connor was far from perfect, but she made some reasonable swing choices over the years. What would we lose if another right winger took Rehnquist's place? Well, other than the silly Gilbert and Sullivan justice robe, not much.

This will get interesting.

When the news announced Gore had won in 2000, O'Connor was overheard at a party complaining that she would not be able to retire. Of course, then she casts a deciding vote to elect Bush. I wonder if she waited until the reelection because she wanted to avoid an appearance of impropriety.

July 01, 2005  
Blogger lemming said...

(tries to think of something optimistic to say)

(tries really hard)

Well, Reagan did appoint O'Connor in the belief that she would be a staunch conservative. Maybe lightening will strike twice?

July 01, 2005  
Blogger torporific said...

We can always hope. I mean Souter worked out nicely.

I think the GOP learned their lesson though and go through more thorough vetting process.

Remember when Clarence Thomas said that he had never had an opinion on Roe v. Wade? Sheesh.

July 01, 2005  
Blogger Jim said...

I hope that the administration will at least consult with Senator Reid on possible nominees. If that happens, at least there's some chance (however small) that Bush won't put forward an ultra-conservative nominee.

I agree that losing Sandy is not good for consensus building on the Court. But at least on some occasions, Justice Kennedy seems willing to take positions that are reviled by the right (e.g., gay rights). I'm not sure, however, about his views on Roe and abortion in general.

July 01, 2005  
Blogger torporific said...

Well, it would be nice if they did do this, but I don't lmpw what their strategy will be. I think Bush will try use his "political capital" if so, we're going to have a battle on our hands.

July 03, 2005  
Blogger lemming said...

I'd like to see a moderate appointed and skip the whole filibuster mess altogether. It would be the reasonable, rational and sensible action to take in this situation.

Speaking as a non-legal professional, I don't have much faith in this happening. Bush is a lame duck who wants to hold as much power and sway as he can for as long as he can, and this is a powerful opportunity for him to strengthen the clout of his office.

July 04, 2005  

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