First Female Supreme Court Justice Held a Key Vote on Major Issues

Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court and a key swing vote, announced Friday she is retiring.

O’Connor, 75, said she will leave the bench once her successor is named and confirmed.

"It has been a great privilege, indeed, to have served as a member of the court for 24 terms," O’Connor said in a letter to President Bush. "I will leave it with enormous respect for the integrity of the court and its role under our constitutional structure."

The president accepted her resignation Friday, saluted her years of service and promised to name a worthy successor.

"Throughout her tenure, she has been a discerning and conscientious judge, and a public servant of complete integrity," Bush said in a special morning briefing in the Rose Garden. "Justice O’Connor’s great intellect, wisdom and personal decency have won her the esteem of her colleagues and our country."

Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, O’Connor has cowgirl roots, having grown up on a ranch in rural southeast Arizona. O’Connor is a Stanford Law School graduate who later became an Arizona assistant attorney general. She entered politics in 1969 by filling a vacancy in the Arizona Senate, and she was later elected to the bench in 1975 as a superior court judge. She was serving as a member of the Arizona Court of Appeals when Reagan tapped her for the high court.

ABA President Robert J. Grey Jr. praised O’Connor.

"The American Bar Association is profoundly grateful to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor for her service to the nation as associate justice of the Supreme Court, for her dedication to justice, and for her commitment to our courts and juries, as demonstrated by her leadership as the honorary chair of the ABA Commission on the American Jury," Grey said in a statement. "Our nation, and in fact the world, have been improved by Justice O’Connor’s contributions. We may all draw inspiration from her example."

Bush said he has directed his staff, in cooperation with the Department of Justice, to compile information and recommend potential nominees for O’Connor’s seat.

"The nation deserves, and I will select, a Supreme Court justice that Americans can be proud of," Bush said. "The nation also deserves a dignified process of confirmation in the United States Senate, characterized by fair treatment, a fair hearing and a fair vote. I will choose a nominee in a timely manner so that the hearing and the vote can be completed before the new Supreme Court term begins."

Look for more of the ABA Journal’s reporting on the U.S. Supreme Court in transition in next week’s eReport.

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01 July 2005 ; 04:27 pm
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Date:2005-07-01 09:00 pm (UTC)
Is it that bad? (Given that at least one retirement would happen anyway in a year or two)
Date:2005-07-01 09:04 pm (UTC)

she is the swing vote. ANd one of theose who was for in Roe. And you name it. And we are getting some republican 50+ dildo instead and we are stuck with him for the reast of our legal career:(((((((((((
Date:2005-07-01 09:08 pm (UTC)
Reagan was republican.
Given, not G.W, yeah. But republican.
Date:2005-07-01 09:22 pm (UTC)
MSNBC reports that the info that was provided to Reagan on O'Connor before he decided to nominate her presented her much more conservative than she actually was (judging by her votes in legislature). The info was provided by a young lawer named Kenneth Starr.
Date:2005-07-02 05:38 am (UTC)
at one time, Justice Harry Blackmun was considered a very conservative Nixon apointee, a clone of the late Chief Justice Burger. He came full circle, partly because he wanted to prove he was not a Burger-clone, partly because many justices undergo a philosophical shift in their time on the Court.

Date:2005-07-02 11:35 pm (UTC)
О да, Миннесоттские близнецы....
Говорят, Бургер с ним до конца жизни не разговаривал и все его решения зарубал:)
Date:2005-07-01 10:17 pm (UTC)
I'd say Reagan was WAAAAAAAAAAY more republican than GW.
Date:2005-07-01 09:15 pm (UTC)
Всё это верно, но я так понимаю, что в ближаший год-два хотя бы одна отставка всё равно бы произошла. С тем же результатом.

Хотя все три ветви власти смотрящие в одну сторону мне крайне не нравятся.
Date:2005-07-02 02:09 pm (UTC)
Or simply increase the difference between Commonwealth of Mass and the BlueStateLandia?
Date:2005-07-02 11:36 pm (UTC)
United states of canada and Jesusland.

Been there done that
Date:2005-07-01 09:47 pm (UTC)
Well, from what I have heard it sounds like John Ashcroft is taking her place.
Why not, after all? If Wilhelm Frick were still alive, I bet Bush would nominate him:)
Date:2005-07-01 11:24 pm (UTC)
Ashcroft, hm...
could be worse I guess
Date:2005-07-01 11:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, could be...
Well, I don't reckon Rush Limbaugh is an option - unless he is rapidly educated and his head is surgically removed from his asshole:)))
Date:2005-07-01 09:34 pm (UTC)
a_karloff в чем-то прав.

Когда фраза "fair treatment, a fair hearing and a fair vote" вызывает у людей такую однозначную реакцию, то все плохо и еда невкусная.
Date:2005-07-01 09:53 pm (UTC)
какая иконка классная! где взяли?
Date:2005-07-01 11:23 pm (UTC)
которая? С висельником?
у pelipeichenko
Date:2005-07-02 12:39 am (UTC)


Date:2005-07-05 03:34 am (UTC)


Неужели ты хочешь Републиканский контроль всех ветвей власти? Не жирно?
Date:2005-07-02 05:40 am (UTC)
initially, I was disappointed, I wish it were Renquist (who, by the way, also mellowed out during his time on the Court).

But then I remembered that David Souter was appointed by George H.W. Bush.

So, it remains to be seen what happens.

At this point, my money would be on Janice Rogers Brown or Alberto Gonzales.
Date:2005-07-02 11:37 pm (UTC)
My bet was GOnzales, but now I feel it may be even Ashcroft.
Brown, huh. One more Justice Brown:)
Date:2005-07-03 05:07 am (UTC)
Ashcroft is not likely to get confirmed. He is Robert Bork, without the intellectual pomposity.

Besides, as Goldstein & Howe's blog points out, the politics of appointing another woman are much better.
Date:2005-07-05 12:42 pm (UTC)
Well, we've seen what women justices republicans can offer. Janice Brown with her affirmative action and abortion views is certainly not one I would prefer to see there. I mean, O'Connor was certainly an exceptional person. I respect swing votes, and Brown is... well... shall I say too determined?

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