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July 1, 2005
Sandra Day O'Connor Says Goodbye

As Sherlock Holmes would often say, the game's afoot -- Sandra Day O'Connor has resigned from the Supreme Court:

Supreme Court Justrice Sandra Day O'Connor submitted her retirement notice to President Bush on Friday, setting the stage for a contentious battle over her replacement. ...

One of the court's two swing votes, O'Connor often sides with more conservative justices as she did in the Bush v. Gore ruling in 2000.

O'Connor's retirement puts more pressure on the Senate than a Rehnquist retirement would have done. Rehnquist has consistenly provided a conservative voice on the court, and replacing him with another conservative would probably not have concerned moderate Democrats, who want to keep their powder dry for selected battles. O'Connor, however, has voted more from the center, and replacing her with a staunch conservative might get some of those moderate Democrats to the firing lines in the political battle to come.

Many names have been bandied about over the past several weeks. I don't have a specific prediction on the nomination, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Bush nominate someone like Alberto Gonzales for a couple of reasons. First, his nomination would likely get a better reception as a replacement for O'Connor among his base than if he replaced Rehnquist. Bush has intense loyalty towards his friends and he wants to leave a legacy on SCOTUS in some form. Appointing the first Hispanic to SCOTUS has its appeal for the President with the most ethnically diverse inner circle in history.

Of course, it wouldn't surprise me if Bush nominated a staunch conservative and judicial constructionist like Michael McConnell, either. It's Bush's nature to challenge his opponents, and he isn't likely to allow the Democrats to dictate the terms of his executive appointments. This might be the opportunity he seeks to force the Democrats to extend their obstructionism to the highest levels of government, to truly smoke them out for the nation to see. If a substantial portion of the population didn't care about appellate confirmations, they certainly will take notice of a SCOTUS confirmation.

All I know is that O'Connor's resignation finally unleashes the political forces that both sides have stoked since the election. We'll see how the Senate MOU and the Gang of 14 have affected the process in short order now. Pass the popcorn, folks ... it should be a hell of a show.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 1, 2005 9:36 AM

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» Justice O'Connor Retires from Secure Liberty
Wizbang has the rumor, from a "reliable source", that Sandra Day O'Conner has just retired from the Supreme Court. It seems that there's some backup for this rumor in the news media. WASHINGTON Supreme Court Justrice Sandra Day O'Connor (search) sub... [Read More]

Tracked on July 1, 2005 9:56 AM

» Justice Sandra Day O’Conner Retires from bRight & Early
Captain’s Quarters and many others are reporting that Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Conner has submitted her resignation to President Bush. A news confrence is scheduled from the Rose Garden in about 10 minutes. More to come... [Read More]

Tracked on July 1, 2005 10:07 AM

» O'Connor to Retire From Supreme Court from USA NEWSBLOG
"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... [Read More]

Tracked on July 1, 2005 10:12 AM

» Lets' Get Ready to Rummmmmble! from Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
Justice (Swing!) O'Connor, is stepping down. The media is rocked! This couldn't be better! Make no mistake this a going to be a battle royal the likes of which we haven't seen. [Read More]

Tracked on July 1, 2005 10:13 AM

» Justice O' Goner from The Unalienable Right
Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court this morning, setting off the battle royale political junkies have been anticipating for weeks. Not much to say about it at this point, except President Bush campaigned on a promise t... [Read More]

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» Sandra Day OConnor Retires (VIDEO) from The Political Teen
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced she is retiring. This is just three months shy of serving the court for 24 years. She was nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1981. [Read More]

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» SCOTUS -- The Battle is Moving Fast! from OKIE on the LAM™ - In LA
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» Oh this is news... from Rant Fever
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» For Our Moonbat Guests from Stop The ACLU
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices durin... [Read More]

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» Adieu, Sandra Day O’Connor; Bonjour, Armageddon from TMH's Bacon Bits
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