Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2005 08:46 am
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court and a key swing vote on issues such as abortion and the death penalty, said Friday she is retiring.

O'Connor, 75, said she will leave before the start of the court's next term in October, or when the Senate confirms her successor. There was no immediate word from the White House on who might be nominated to replace O'Connor.

It's been 11 years since the last opening on the court, one of the longest uninterrupted stretches in history. O'Connor's decision gives Bush his first opportunity to appoint a justice.

"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."

The White House has refused to comment on any possible nominees, or whether Bush would name a woman to succeed O'Connor. Her departure leaves Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the only other woman among the current justices.

Possible replacements include Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and federal courts of appeals judges J. Michael Luttig, John Roberts, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Michael McConnell, Emilio Garza and James Harvie Wilkinson III. Others mentioned are former Solicitor General Theodore Olson, lawyer Miguel Estrada and former deputy attorney general Larry Thompson, but Bush's pick could be a surprise choice not well known in legal circles.

Another prospective candidate is Edith Hollan Jones, a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who was also considered for a Supreme Court vacancy by President Bush's father.

O'Connor's appointment in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan, quickly confirmed by the Senate, ended 191 years of male exclusivity on the high court.

She wasted little time building a reputation as a hard-working moderate conservative who emerged as a crucial power broker on the nine-member court.

O'Connor often lines up with the court's conservative bloc, as she did in 2000 when the court voted to stop Florida presidential ballot recounts sought by Al Gore, and effectively called the election for President Bush.

As a "swing voter," however, O'Connor sometimes votes with more liberal colleagues.

Perhaps the best example of her influence is the court's evolving stance on abortion. She distanced herself both from her three most conservative colleagues, who say there is no constitutional underpinning for a right to abortion, and from more liberal justices for whom the right is a given.

source
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,756 • Replies: 52
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JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jul, 2005 11:17 am
I hope Bush nominates a Texan. The Dems are in a race straight to the bottom and nothing would bring out their viciousness (for all to see) more than Bush nominating a Texan.

<<Making popcorn. Smile
0 Replies
 
thethinkfactory
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2005 02:39 pm
What starts Mcg?

Justices are supposed to interpret the constitution - is that going to start? Or are you saying that you hope conservative law making has started on the supreme court because it isn't getting done fast enough in our legislative branches?

I am confused... or am I?

TF
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2005 03:49 pm
The battle for the next Justice starts.

I am hoping for a moderate. No room for an extremeist either direction on the court.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2005 04:22 pm
I keep seeing the name Cormyn floating around as the Bush pick.

Ya better hope it isn't him if you are looking for a moderate, lol

cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Jul, 2005 05:15 pm
McGentrix wrote:
The battle for the next Justice starts.

I am hoping for a moderate. No room for an extremeist either direction on the court.


Then I'm sittin' on your side of the couch -- I'll bring my own popcorn. Completely agree that the court is not the place for extreme ideology in either direction. I wish I were in the know enough to know of any good moderate candidates. Any suggestions?

As for the battle, I think it started with this shot...
http://www.factcheck.org/article333.html

Quote:
The Republican group Progress for America released the television ad "Get Ready" on June 22. In a news release, the group reports that the ad will run through July 1 as part of a $700,000 effort to "warn opinion leaders in Washington, DC and beyond that some Democrats will soon unleash a fury of dishonest and ugly attacks about any Justice that President Bush nominates to the Supreme Court should a vacancy occur."
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jul, 2005 07:34 am
Bush has been right out there stepping up the rhetoric and getting his message and views across while telling the other side to tone down the rhetoric. But of course the liberals will get the blame for attempting to have a voice.


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/B/BUSH_SCOTUS_CLUES?SITE=AJC&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2005-07-05-07-42-17

Jul 5, 7:42 AM EDT

Bush Drops a Few Clues About New Justice

By NEDRA PICKLER
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush has had more than four years to think about what he wants in a Supreme Court justice and he has revealed a few clues about his ideal candidate and how he'll make the selection.

Since Bush's first campaign for president, court watchers have been talking about how he could have the opportunity to shape the aging court. But Bush has been tightlipped when asked for specifics about whom he would pick.

"I'm not telling you," he told a questioner who asked for names in a debate with rival John Kerry last year. "I really haven't picked anybody yet."

Bush has said he admires Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the two most conservative members of today's generally conservative court. Both would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, drop racial affirmative action and allow almost any government aid to religious schools.


Bush has a record of putting forward similarly conservative judges for lower courts. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's announcement last week that she would retire gives Bush his first chance to nominate a judge to the highest court.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Tuesday the Senate was probably "in for a pretty partisan battle" over the nomination, particularly if the president nominated a "strong conservative" for the post.

"The president is going to choose a conservative," Hatch said on ABC's "Good Morning America," but added, "I don't think he's going to choose a right-wing conservative."

Democrats have indicated that a hard-line conservative would trigger a furious battle on Capitol Hill that could touch off a filibuster against the nomination.

Bush usually talks in general terms about what he will look for in a Supreme Court nominee, saying he wants someone who will "strictly interpret the Constitution" and "not use the bench to write social policy."

Clearly, there are some specific stances that Bush will examine. For example, he has said he will not choose someone who would say the Pledge of Allegiance should be banned in public schools because it contains the words "under God."

There are other issues important to Bush's conservative Christian base that he has signaled he will consider. In his acceptance speech at the Republican national convention last year, he criticized judges he contends have gone too far in rulings declaring gay marriage legal.

"I support the protection of marriage against activist judges," the president said, "and I will continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law."

Bush opposes most abortion rights. But he has said he won't have a "litmus test" for judges on that or other issues.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whom Bush appointed to the Texas Supreme Court, often is mentioned as a potential nominee. Bush, in a newspaper interview Monday, defended Gonzales, who has been criticized by conservatives.

"Al Gonzales is a great friend of mine," Bush told USA Today in a story for publication in Tuesday editions. "When a friend gets attacked, I don't like it."

Some congressional Republicans have cautioned against Gonzales, a close friend of Bush whom they believe isn't steadfastly conservative on issues like affirmative action and abortion.

The president said he will interview prospects himself after he sorts through candidates over the next few weeks, the newspaper said in a story posted late Monday on its Web site.

The president appealed to special interest groups running ads and mobilizing supporters for the anticipated fight over the Supreme Court nominee to "tone down the heated rhetoric."

Gonzales said in 2000 that the president was more concerned about whether his nominees would effectively write new laws with their decisions, not about their position on abortion or other issues.

Still, Bush has said he would nominate "strict constructionists," taken by some to mean justices sympathetic to abortion restrictions since there is no mention of abortion rights in the Constitution.

When he was running against Al Gore in 2000, Bush said their different views on judicial appointments was something voters should consider at the ballot box.

"That's going to be a big difference between my opponent and me," he said in a debate against Gore. "I don't believe in liberal, activist judges."

---

On the Net:

White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov
0 Replies
 
woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jul, 2005 09:11 am
"When he was running against Al Gore in 2000, Bush said their different views on judicial appointments was something voters should consider at the ballot box.

"That's going to be a big difference between my opponent and me," he said in a debate against Gore. "I don't believe in liberal, activist judges." "

That is not rhetoric, that is a campaign pledge and I look forward to seeing GW make good on that pledge. It is one of the major reason he was elected.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jul, 2005 09:13 am
Do you think he is equally opposed to conservative, activist judges? No, I'd guess if he was he would have just said "activist judges" and not qualified it with "liberal".
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jul, 2005 09:27 am
I hope he nominates a judge with a conservative slant, but not an extremist. I don't see an extremist getting through.

What I'd really like is to get a list of possible nominations so we could discuss them. Has anyone seen any possible short lists?
0 Replies
 
woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jul, 2005 10:30 am
Here is a list.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2121270/?nav=ais

Article too long to post.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jul, 2005 11:13 am
Hmmm, I like Luttig and McConnell so far. Still thinking, though. There's a lot to consider.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jul, 2005 11:18 am
Thanks Woiyo!
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 11:21 am
Yes, I know it's Drudge. But he gets it right a whole lot more often than he gets it wrong, so watch this to be in the news soon:

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX WED JULY 06, 2005 11:09:22 ET XXXXX

SEN. SCHUMER CAUGHT ON CELLPHONE: 'WE ARE GOING TO WAR' OVER SUPREME COURT

**Exclusive**

Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuck Schumer got busy plotting away on the cellphone aboard a Washington, DC-New York Amtrak -- plotting Democrat strategy for the upcoming Supreme Court battle.

Schumer promised a fight over whoever the President's nominee was: "It's not about an individual judgeÂ… It's about how it affects the overall makeup of the court."

The chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was overheard on a long cellphone conversation with an unknown political ally, and the DRUDGE REPORT was there!

Schumer proudly declared: "We are contemplating how we are going to go to war over this."

Schumer went on to say how hard it was to predict how a Supreme Court justice would turn out: "Even William Rehnquist is more moderate than they expected. The only ones that resulted how they predicted were [Antonin] Scalia and [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg. So most of the time they've gotten their picks wrong, and that's what we want to do to them again."

Schumer later went on to mock the "Gang of 14" judicial filibuster deal and said it wasn't relevant in the Supreme Court debate.

"A Priscilla Owen or Janice Rogers Brown style appointment may not have been extraordinary to the appellate court but may be extraordinary to the Supreme Court."

By the time the train hit New Jersey, Schumer shifted gears and called his friend and "Gang of 14" member, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The two talked in a very friendly manner about doing an event sometime this week together.

DevelopingÂ…
http://www.drudgereport.com/flash3sca.htm
0 Replies
 
woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 11:42 am
This should be expected from the Democrats. I heard that CNN/Gallop (not sure) ran a poll of likely voters (so it is a BS poll) asking if they thought the Democrats would use inappropriate tactics in the nomination process.

the result was 87% yes.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 01:11 pm
All that means is that the pre-emptive ad campaign worked.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 01:20 pm
What pre-emptive campaign was that? The only organized campaign I've seen is orchestrated talking points by Democrats , aided and abetted by most of the MSM, warning the Republicans there will be the devil to pay if GWB appoints anybody to the right of Karl Marx. (Exaggerated here for effect of course.)
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 01:25 pm
The one I linked to on the last page.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 01:44 pm
Ah, okay. You were referring to one group that is asserting itself early on?

Sort of like this one from Moveon.org
Quote:

http://www.moveonpac.org/protectourrights/

And check out the Moveon Pac ad video captioned "Will George Bush choose an extremist?" using the Terri Schiavo case as evidence he will.
http://www.moveonpac.org/schiavo-QT.html

I'm not defending one side against the other here, or don't mean to in this post. I'm just sayng the pre-nomination rhetoric is hot and heavy and pointed from both sides and certainly that coming from the Left offsets anything the right has put out so far as influencing public opinion at this point.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 01:57 pm
I've seen a number of articles to the effect that some of the major conservative groups are against the idea of Bush nominating his attorney general, presumably because he's too squishy on abortion.

I heard Bush on the radio this morning defending his "friend." It'll be interesting to see who runs the country these days, Bush or the people who think they put him in the White House.
0 Replies
 
 

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