Sometimes you can tell a pretty good story by just snipping a couple quotes together and letting them speak for themselves. This is one of those occasions.
Stephen Carter on over politicization of the court:
On issues from abortion to affirmative action to criminal procedure, it has often been Justice O’Connor’s unpredictable vote that determines which bloc prevails. So the right will naturally see its chance to move the court further toward its agenda; and the left will battle to retain what pieces of its own agenda it can, a sort of holding action against the day when the Democrats again rule the White House and the Senate.
This path, so predictable, so frequently trod in recent decades, is carrying the Supreme Court, and the ideal of judicial review, toward disaster. There has been much talk lately of how the cruel posturing of politicians and commentators critical of various decisions hurts the reputation of the courts. And there is something to this notion. But the overwrought attacks by some critics do less harm to the notion of an independent judiciary than does the way activists gird themselves for battle each time a vacancy occurs, as if it is the obligation of the political branches to guarantee outcomes their supporters prefer.
We all claim to believe in judicial independence, but our definition of independence too often turns out to mean deciding cases according to our druthers. A court that rules in our favor displays integrity and independence. A court that rules against us shows its ideology and partisanship. Need evidence? Listen to anyone on the right discuss classroom prayer or abortion. Listen to anyone on the left discuss Bush v. Gore.
Gray, in an interview, described a battle plan over two years in the making. The Federalist Society will provide research in support of the nominee. A group called Progress for America, which backed the reelection of Bush in 2004, will spend as much as $18 million on radio and television backing Bush’s nominee; and the recently created Judicial Confirmation Network, run by a former Bush campaign coalitions director, is setting up a grass-roots network in the states of six key senators.
“We have been preparing for this for 2 1/2 years,” Gray said.
Today Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her resignation from the United States Supreme Court.
This is a state of emergency for women’s rights. Sandra Day O’Connor broke down barriers for women as the first female Supreme Court justice