Posted by: bridget | 5 February 2007

O’Connor Speaks About Her Retirement

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said that she would have liked to continue working on the Supreme Court for a longer time, but decided to leave because of her ailing husband and Chief Justice Rehnquist’s illness. She worried about the effect of two retiring justices and obviously did not forsee his death shortly after her retirement. In her golden years, she is enjoying a lifetime appointment that allows her to sit by designation on federal appeals courts.

The cynical pachyderm cannot help but think that Justice O’Connor, a Reagan appointee, saw that the Republicans were unlikely to retain control of the Senate in 2006.  If she retired well before the November elections, her successor would certainly be chosen by Bush and approved by the Republican-dominated Senate.  (Due to Rehnquist’s death, Alito was not confirmed until six month’s after O’Connor’s announcement.)

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