Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.
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Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Did O'Connor want a Republican replacement?
Many of the headlines regarding the retirement of Justice O'Connor have been some variation on "A Nightmare for Liberals". I got a bit heated myself just two posts ago. But somehow lost in the shuffle is that Sandra Day O'Connor, while moderate and extremely influential, has always been a die-hard conservative, and her retirement is not nearly the nightmare that we would face if something should happen to Justice Stephens (the court's oldest).
It's also worth remembering that for a long time the rumor has been that O'Connor wanted to be sure to retire during a Republican administration so her replacement would be a conservative (see here for her reaction on Election Night 2000). If that is indeed true then it's interesting she didn't retire during the last four years of Bush (and before Kerry had a good shot at ousting him). I suppose that puts the theory in question, but I would not be at all surprised if O'Connor and Rehnquist discussed it and decided it would look improper to retire during the adminstration of a President that actually lost the Popular Vote and was installed thanks to their own 5-4 ruling (which, of course, is one of the cases I will remember O'Connor by most of all).