Friday, July 01, 2005

Sandra Day O'Conner to retire

I can't think of any bigger event in the legal world that's going to happen than the retirement of Sandra Day O'Conner. This will have lasting reprucussions and will affect just about every aspect of current American life. Do we become a more theocratic state? Do the police have more and more unfettered rights to violate the privacy and homes of citizens in this country? Does more and more power get consolidated into the hands of fewer and fewer? Do the historic acheivements of minorities over the last half century get reversed? In short, her replacement is a referendum on everything our country stands for. Do we want to look back on the 1950s, or the 1920s, as some kind of a utopia that we have to try to recreate? Or do we recognize that the society we became after the New Deal has lead to our country being the strongest, most vibrant, and good countries in the world. Progressives point to the progressive era started by Teddy Roosevelt, and then the New Deal, started by Franklin Roosevelt, and finally the 60's and the 90's as the eras that have made us the greatest country in the world. President Bush will seek to appoint someone who believes the opposite, that those failed our country, and that we became the great society we are in spite of those eras.

The choice could not be ever clearer. Thank God that the fillibuster is still intact.


Nick said...

Wow, try not to paint such a bleek picture. Sheesh.

Look, the tide is turning. Liberalism had its heydey, as you said, in the 30s and later in the 60s. Now the political climate is changing. Things are moving rightward.

Howard O. Kieffer said...

Justice O'Connor's July 1 'resignation' letter to the President says:
"This is to inform you of my decision to retire as Associate Justice . . .
effective upon the nomination and confirmation of my successor. . . ."
Under law, can the President nominate a person for a seat on the Supreme Court before there is a vacancy?
Can the Senate confirm a nominee before there is a vacancy?
Was Justice O'Connor choosing her words carefully?

Tom McKenna said...

Ummm, I think you're getting a little overboard. If you look at cases like Kyllo and the recent Cap. punishment decisions, it's not clear that the Supremes are all that "pro-police."

The fundamental problem with your angst, however, rests in the assumption that the issues you worry about are issues that should be decided by an unelected oligarchy of 5 justices. It's a shame that the Supremes have become the single most important branch of government.

It's only because the liberals cannot get their agenda (abortion, homosexual marriage, anti-death penalty) accepted by a democratic majority that they have come to rely on the imperial judiciary to "find" in the constitution their agenda where no one ever had supposed it existed before.