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July 01, 2005

Sandra(calling it a) Day O'Connor

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has announced that she is stepping down from the Court.


Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, an important swing vote and the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court, said she is stepping down, opening the door for President Bush to begin reseating the high court with a more conservative bent for a generation to come on everything from abortion to affirmative action to business regulation.


In the near term, however, the high court vacancy could lead to a paralyzing confirmation fight that ties up Congress for the foreseeable future, delaying -- or derailing -- other ambitious elements of Mr. Bush's second term agenda, like overhauling Social Security and the tax code.


Justice O'Connor, 75 years old, said she expects to leave before the start of the court's next term in October, or whenever the Senate confirms her successor. It's been 11 years since the last opening on the court, one of the longest uninterrupted stretches in history.


....Justice O'Connor's departure would leave Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the only woman among the current justices. Congress and various interest groups had been gearing up for Chief Justice Rehnquist, who is battling thyroid cancer, to step down, and the list of possible replacements discussed had largely focused on those who would take his seat. Possible replacements for that position include Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and federal circuit judges J. Michael Luddig, John Roberts, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Michael McConnell, Emilio Garza and J. Harvie Wilkinson, III.


....The length and intensity of the confirmation battle hinges on how the White House chooses to fill the court opening. While Mr. Bush and aides have said repeatedly they're looking for "strict constructionists" of the Constitution -- judges seen as more likely to curb the powers of the federal government and more accepting of religion in public life -- some candidates would be more controversial than others.   

Yeah, it looks like we're in for a long haul, here, where confirmation of a Bush nominee is concerned. If the track record of Democrat opposition to every other Bush nominee for every position is any indicator, this one will be another quagmire, courtesy of those folks on the left, as they continue their bitter, relentless war on George W. Bush. It doesn't matter whom he puts forward, there'll still be a battle just because the Dems have no other platform than their driving will to make Bush fail.

So far, luckily, they themselves have failed miserably in their attempts because the President is a stronger and better man than anyone musterable-up from among the human resources of the DNC.

I say a "long haul" for two reasons. There will not only be the pitched, lengthy battle over the O'Connor replacement, but if Chief Justice Rehnquist also retires as anticipated, there will be two positions to fill on the court and thus double the fun for the obstructionist Democrats, who will see a sterling opportunity to tie up Congress for an even longer period, holding up other legislation important to the Bush Administration as they pound exhaustively away at every detail they can think of to discredit Bush nominees.

In the Silver Lining Department, being ever the optimist, I wonder how many more conservative Democrats the coming partisan BS will move into the GOP camp in time for next year's elections. Hopefully lots.    

Posted by Seth at July 1, 2005 07:29 PM