O'Connor Retiring


The servants of the welfare/warfare superstate get a firmer grip on another branch of the government: Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will leave the U.S. Supreme Court before the start of the October term.

NEXT: Minding the Gender Gap

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  1. Can’t wait for those Senate confirmation hearings (aarghhh). Who’s ready to repeal the 17th amendment?

  2. Sandy baby! Don’t go!

  3. And here I thought Justice O’Connor WAS one of the “servants of the welfare/welfare superstate.”

  4. Hmm. Bad day for anyone who had Rhenquist in the “who’ll retire first?” betting pool.

  5. So we are going to have to go through TWO ROUNDS of this?

    Stop this ride! I want off!!

  6. MNG,

    Why? We don’t really have a voice anyway. At least, we’ll get all sorts of entertainment, stupid hyperbolic statements to make fun of, and even more left vs right acrimony. It’ll be spectacular!

  7. Since the Supreme Court has proven itself inconsequential as regards defending the Constitution…couldn’t we just quit replacing justices as they retire/die?…save a few bucks on the govt. payroll…

  8. I smell a sequel to First Monday in October…

  9. I’m glad someone on the Supremes is retiring. It will shut Washington down, adding to the sense Dubya is incompetent, speeding calls for his impeachment.

  10. No Gonzales.

  11. Is Reason going to put out a list of their top choices to fill the spot, both and idealistic and a has-a-chance-in-hell version?

  12. I hear the fundies don’t like Gonzo, so there must be something good about him. But the Magna Carta was nice . . . is Roy Moore doing anything?

  13. So we are going to have to go through TWO ROUNDS of this?

    death of the senate, anyone? πŸ˜‰

    any bets? roy ‘commandment’ moore? alberto ‘torture’ gonzalez? i’ll wager an unemployed john ashcroft if someone gives me 5:1.

  14. Ashcroft is too old to be eligible.

    I’d love to see Bush try and nominate Moore. The hilarity factor might be enough to get me to actually pay some attention to what will surely be another flashy, loud distraction.

  15. Brian,

    The fundies don’t like Gonzalez because he’s decidely against the feds sticking their nose into the abortion issue. In their eyes this means he likes to kill children. Without the torture memo business, this might have been the key to getting him through (Bush previously put him on the TX supremem court). Now, he’s not out of the running, but it’s easy to predict where the hearings would be headed. And if the Dems put up a fight against him, I’m not sure some of the Republicans would fight very hard for him.

  16. he’s decidely against the feds sticking their nose into the abortion issue

    Wouldn’t that mean he’s against Roe v. Wade?

  17. who knows what jackassery lurks in the heart of congress?

  18. How ’bout these apples?


    “WASHINGTON ? Supreme Court Justice Lindsey Graham?

    The most powerful Democrat in the U.S. Senate seems to like the sound of it.

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday threw out Graham?s name as one of four Republican senators ?who would be outstanding Supreme Court members.?

    Reid said he expects President Bush to consult with Democrats before naming a nominee for the court, which could soon have a vacancy. He also mentioned U.S. Sens. Mel Martinez of Florida, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Mike Crapo of Idaho.”

    After Lindsey Graham’s vote against CAFTA I almost understand why Reid likes him.

    But Mel Martinez? This is the guy who out-fundied Bill McCollum in the FL Republican primary.

  19. I wanna see a dogfight. I want scorched earth, apoplectic, sputtering, whip-sawing, invective-lobbing, vein-popping rage from these petty tyrants. I want them to bring back the venerable tradition of caning. I want the rotunda to look like a mob scene from ‘Gangs of New York,’ with members carrying scythes, machetes, meat cleavers, shop tools, dental implements, tridents, and ice picks.

    I want this deathmatch between the Republicrats and the Demopublicans to reach its nadir and to consume both parties in its beautiful, incendiary glory.

    Followed by approval ratings plummeting to the lower teens.

    Out of the ashes of this spectacle I hope against hope for a single Libertarian to rise up and get elected to the House.

    Please God, I know I’ve been an Agnostic up to this point, but I will go to every single church service they offer, sit in the front row, and shout ‘Amen!’ until my vocal cords snap if you will please just make this happen.


  20. Don’t you envy the Afghan warlords? They don’t have to worry about statist shit like supreme courts.

  21. chthus,

    I hope you’re right about Al “The Torture Monkey” Gonzales, but the Torture Memo wasn’t enough to quash his elevation to Attorney General. Why would the Senate get religion now?

    …Not that the wind can’t change. One man’s conscience does seem to have held up the Bolton nomination.

  22. Isaac,

    If you think about it really hard, you might be able to figure out why Reid wouldn’t mind Bush plucking right-wingers out of the Senate.

  23. Bush will nominate whoever Sharon tells him to nominate.

  24. Is Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court a “women’s seat” like Thurgood Marshall’s was an “African-American’s” seat?

    Oh, I forgot Clarence Thomas was the most highly qualified judge in the nation at the time, his skin color was just a coincidence.

    I actually like Thomas and think he has many accomplishments [including being a good legal thinker (ie I agree with him a lot of the time) and on balance a force for good on the current court], but hey, let’s be real.

  25. Bush will nominate whoever Sharon tells him to nominate.

    Hey, it works for Ozzy…

  26. O’Connor needed to go. Her Midkiff decision (which upheld a Mugabe-style redistributionist land grab by the state of Hawaii) laid the foundation for Kelo. She’s a textbook case of how Supreme Court appointment destroys judicial temperment.

  27. phocion at July 1, 2005 12:30 PM

    We’re talking lifetime appointments to well…umm…well kinda…like…the holiest of holies. Sorta like High Priests and stuff. I know we’re talking Democrats here but I don’t think they’d do anything so sacriligeous or…suicidal. I mean getting rid of Senators or not your talking right wing leaning on the court forever almost. And more than likely an even “worse” Senator will be elected.

    No, I think they’re really trying to say something like “See, we’re not anti-conservative, here’s some good conservatives!” But I’m still trying to understand what exactly it is that makes them “good”.

  28. Why not nominate one of those TV judges? Judge Joe Brown would be a solid choice.

  29. Gonzalez is Spanish for Souter. If Bush is planning on making an ethnic pick he’d probably go with Garza (Estrada would have been the best choice since he actually has the intellectual heft to be something other than a quota pick, but I suppose that is the reason the Dems were so eager to torpedo him from the start). Since Richard Epstein would probably be too much to ask, I’d like to see Bush nominate McConnell. You have to respect a guy on the SC shortlist who was willing to stick his neck out and write an article trashing the Bush v. Gore decision.

  30. Ken,

    No way to see if I’m right but to wait, but there are two key differences between the SCOTUS appointment and the attorney general. One is simply duration, lifetime appointment makes it a bigger deal. The other is the abortion issue, which doen’t come into play for the AG as much.

    My contention is that while the Dems wiould go after Gonzales as vociferously this time, the hardcore right-to-lifers wouldn’t defend him quite as much. As a first attempt, should he be nominated, I don’t think he’d make it for that reason.

    If Bush wants to get him in there, he’d do better to nominate a hardcore right to lifer with a skeleton or two, let the Dems ‘succeed’ in opposing him (or not letting it go to vote), then offer up Gonzales as a second choice into the now abortion heavy fight. His moderate views on the issue may have the Dems giving him a pass on the memo stuff.

    Of course, this type of thing might tear up the republican base a bit more, but the losses might be offset in the long term gain of nominating the first Hispanic Justice.

  31. What do you guys think of Judge Alex Kozinsky (9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals)?

  32. I hear Bill Clinton is looking for a job….

  33. Midkiff was unanimous. O’Connor at least deserves credit for backing off from extending its implications in Kelo.

    In most recent cases, O’Connor’s opinions were as pro-libertarian in their result as those of any other member of the Court, and more pro-libertarian than her successor’s are likely to be.

  34. The best possible nominee would be Ron Paul. Second to him, I’ll take Steve Williams, sitting on the DC Circuit.

    MayDay, Kozinsky isn’t a bad choice either, and of those that are approvable, he’s probably #1.

  35. “Ashcroft is too old to be eligible.”

    This got me thinking…

    Ben Shapiro

    Repubs: First they do not like Catholics, now they do not like Jews.

  36. Is Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court a “women’s seat” like Thurgood Marshall’s was an “African-American’s” seat?

    I think it’s high time we had a hot bisexual Asian woman Supreme Court justice.

  37. Michelle Malkin?

  38. I think it’s high time we had a hot bisexual Asian woman Supreme Court justice.

    Stevo, I’m definitely available to serve on the search committee.

  39. The disappearing kids trick was wearling thin, so Sharon ordered Sandra Day-O’Cooner to retire. It’s all part of a plot to keep Iraq out of the news.

  40. I nominate Asia Carrera (Jenna Jameson can probably act as a character witness for her, if you know what I mean)

  41. Emilio Garza
    Alberto Gonzales
    Edith Brown Clemen
    Samuel Alito

    One of these four has a good shot. You have to replace a woman/minority with the same.

    Slate Article on Candidates:

  42. I second Stevo’s suggestion.

    Failing that, how about

    I just got into MD after a hellish road trip. The details will be described later in my screenplay “The UHaul Diaries: A Tale of Mechanical Failure and Market Failure.” Bright points from the trip:

    1) I like Oklahoma. It’s a red state in the best sense of the word, with that beautiful red soil making for nice scenery.

    2) My wife and I spent 4 days trying to figure out why the mow the grass along the interstate in the middle of nowhere. Seems expensive and wasteful. So I’m going to run for mayor some day with the slogan “Thoreau for Mayor: Let the grass grow!” (No, not really, but it was fun to talk about in the car. Although it would secure for me the crucial stoner voting bloc….assuming they remember to vote πŸ˜‰

    3) I spent a good portion of the trip thinking about a way to significantly improve brain surgery using special lasers and special cameras. I’m going to have an interesting idea for the people at NIH when I start work on Tuesday!

  43. Oh, and she isn’t Asian, but she is hot and bisexual: Mandy from 24.

    Or David Palmer. He’s not a bisexual woman, but he does have a law degree, plus a long track record as a Senator and then President.

  44. Maybe they cut the grass to keep the risk of grass fires manageable.

  45. Welcome to your new home, Dr. thoreau. Enjoy!

    Or David Palmer. He’s not a bisexual woman, but he does have a law degree, plus a long track record as a Senator and then President.

    Sorry, not good enough. I have my “litmus test.”

    PS: We had a President David Palmer? I never even noticed!

  46. I wanna see a dogfight. I want scorched earth…caning…the rotunda to look like a mob scene from ‘Gangs of New York,’ with members carrying scythes, machetes, meat cleavers…


  47. thoreau,
    As a Euell Gibbons fan, I’ve kept a close eye on weeds growing by the road for a number of years.
    Those blue flowers you always see are chicory, the dried and roasted roots of which can darken coffee without adding caffeine. Get a can of Lousianne coffee.
    And cattails, which have a number of uses, besides being edible, seem to be less the victim of gummint mowing nazis.
    Mayhaps even gummint types have learned cattails are like Shmoos: ornamental grass, edible, cute, restful to the peepers. You name it.
    Sorry to say, you will see not one roadrunner around DC.
    meep meep

  48. I suppose its a mixed blessing, but the given the hate thet’s been thrown between the Dems and Reps over the last few years, we can expect the confirmation hearings to take so long that W’s *successor* will be competing for a second term before they’re confirmed.

  49. I’m all for putting Thomas Penfield Jackson in there.

  50. Stevo-

    Well, we didn’t actually have a President David Palmer, but Dennis Haysbert played him on TV for 2 years. That’s 80% of the President’s job anyway (playing President on TV), so I give Haysbert credit for a 1.6 year term.

    By that measure, of course, Martin Sheen has more seniority in office than Haysbert.

  51. Oh, I nominate Ron Paul for Supreme Court, but not for the reason that most libertarians give. See, he’s an obstetrician, and Supreme Court Justices nowadays are vetted solely on the basis of where they stand on various obstetric issues. I know what his stance is on obstetric issues, and I know some libertarians might disagree with him to some extent, but there’s no denying that the man is at least knowledgeable on obstetrics.

    So let’s put an obstetrician on the Supreme Court!

  52. thoreau,
    Don’t be merely a spreader of old wives’ tails.

  53. I nominate Rue Paul for Supreme Court.

  54. thoreau,

    Ron Paul is pro-life too! πŸ˜‰

    But I must comment on this. Five years ago, if you had told me I would live to see the day when one of the five justices who voted to uphold RvW in Webster v Missouri would retire under the watch of a pro-life president, I would have been ecstatic. This is our chance, finally to have a voice on the abortion issue.

    However, after Raich and Kelo, where SDOC was one of the few voices opposing handing virtually unlimited powers to the federal govt … and knowing that we have a prez who eagerly wants to expand the fed’s power … I’m not so sure how happy I am.

    Why the hell couldn’t Stevens have retired???!!!

  55. crimethink-

    My stand on abortion is that the pro-lifers have the life thing down, the pro-choicers have the liberty thing down, but both sides get so agitated over this issue that it’s clear that neither side has figured out how to work in a pursuit of happiness angle yet.

    Once one side or the other acquires a sense of humor I will have a firm stance on abortion. Two out of three ain’t bad!


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