July 2, 2005
Swing Justice O’Connor’s retirement particularly important for choice
O’Connor’s retirement is particularly important for women and for choice, much more so than the Rehnquist retirement most were expecting.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement leaves a hole at the center of the Supreme Court and, in a sense, at the center of the country.
But O'Connor remained something of a throwback: a moderate Republican, known as a broker of compromises during her long-ago tenure as Arizona's Senate majority leader, who used her pivotal position on the court to keep the law under which all Americans must live from veering toward any extreme.
On a nine-member court that often mirrored the liberal-conservative split of the larger society, O'Connor repeatedly cast the fifth and deciding vote, not to establish sweeping new constitutional principles but to make law that she thought would make sense to the American people.
And as Armando at DailyKos pointed out, O’Connor as the fifth and deciding vote was perhaps most important in Roe v. Wade.
What I find interesting (insane) is that anti-choicers are actually trying to say that O’Connor wasn’t the swing vote. I wonder why...
Check out some of the language from this press release put out by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC):
Many commentators in the news media have made observations about the possible impact of an appointment on legal issues pertaining to abortion. Some of these commentaries are well informed, but others contain misinformation and distortions. For example, one oft-heard myth is that the current Supreme Court is divided 5-4 on Roe v. Wade. This is demonstrably wrong. In reality, six of the current justices, including Justice O'Connor, have voted to reaffirm Roe v. Wade's holding that abortion must be allowed, for any reason, up until "viability" (and for "health" reasons, which has been broadly defined, even after viability). Thus, even if the President were to appoint a successor justice who some day decides that Roe v. Wade was an unconstitutional ruling, there would still be a pro-Roe majority on the Supreme Court.
“Hey don’t worry about Bush’s nominee, abortion will be safe...so no need to put a big fight, right?” You have got to be kidding me. No such luck guys, sorry!
Posted by Jessica at July 2, 2005 1:36 PM
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