Who would have thought, Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court retiring before Chief Justice Rehnquist.
This should make for a pretty interesting summer. Some where I think the Democrats today in the Senate are redefining the term “Extraordinary Circumstances”.
According to the AP, Sandra Day O’Connor leaving Supreme Court
Others following the breaking story of the surprise retirement:
Over at Wizbang, Mary Catherine Ham hits it perfectly,
Man your battle stations, folks. I’m right outside the city in Arlington right now, but I can hear blood pressures rising from here. A fight to replace a Supreme Court swing vote. This is gonna be a fight for the ages.
Jawa Report, Fox News: Justice O’Connor’s Resignation Imminent
McGehee, Gonzalez Gets His Chance?
The Moderate Voice, So get ready for the mother of all political battles and the possible return of hearing the words “nuclear option“:
1754 Blog, Yahooo
PoliPundit, This is great news!! We can finally replace a “swing” vote on the Supreme Court with a genuine Constitutionalist.
Michelle Malkin, FAREWELL, SANDRA DAY
SCOTUSblog, Analysis: The Rehnquist question remains (A MUST READ)
Captains Quarters, “As Sherlock Holmes would often say, the game’s afoot”
The Political Teen
Pink Kitty, Can we say Senate brawl anyone?
More information and detail below:
O’Connor, 75, said she will leave before the start of the court’s next term in October, or when the Senate confirms her successor. There was no immediate word from the White House on who might be nominated to replace O’Connor.
Fox News: Justice O’Connor Retires From Supreme Court
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor submitted her retirement notice to President Bush on Friday, setting the stage for a contentious battle over her replacement.
Bush is scheduled to speak from the White House Rose Garden at 11:15 a.m. EDT to announce the retirement. Sources said he will not be naming a potential successor for O’Connor.
Her note to President Bush:
“Dear President Bush, this is to inform you of my decision to retire from my position as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, effective upon the nomination and confirmation of my successor. It has been a great privilege indeed to have served as a member of the Court for 24 Terms.
“I will leave it with enormous respect for the integrity of the Court and its role under our constitutional structure,” O’Connor wrote.
It has been a great privilege indeed to have served as a member of the court for 24 years,” the 75-year-old justice wrote Bush in a one-paragraph resignation letter.
The White House has refused to comment on any possible nominees, or whether Bush would name a woman to succeed O’Connor. Her departure leaves Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the only other woman among the current justices.
Possible replacements include Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and federal courts of appeals judges J. Michael Luttig, John Roberts, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Michael McConnell, Emilio Garza and James Harvie Wilkinson III. Others mentioned are former Solicitor General Theodore Olson, lawyer Miguel Estrada and former deputy attorney general Larry Thompson, but Bush’s pick could be a surprise choice not well known in legal circles.
MSNBC, Supreme Court Justice O’Connor retiring
First female member of court; key swing vote on abortion, death penalty
President Bush praised O’Connor’s contributions saying that “our nation is deeply grateful.” In brief comments at the White House, he did not announce a nominee for the seat but said he hoped to do so in “a timely manner.”
Video from MSNBC, Pete Williams
UPDATE: Video of Senator Ted Kennedy “weighing” in, filibuster, filibuster … filibuster. From the Political Teen.
The aftermath of the retiring of Justice O’Connor can best be seen here:
Howard Dean makes himself heard, Statement by DNC Chair Howard Dean on the Retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
“A President faces no more important decision in terms of protecting the rights and liberties of all Americans than nominating a Supreme Court Justice. President Bush has a constitutional responsibility to do what presidents before him have done — seek the advice of senators from both parties before making a nomination, and choose a mainstream nominee who will protect our most important rights and freedoms.
“Democrats hope this process can be one of consensus, rather than confrontation, but that will be up to President Bush.”
No Howie, that will be up to the Democratic Party. Like it or not, George W. Bush was re-elected President with the full knowledge of the American people that 1-2-3 Supreme Court Justices may actually step down. The American voter elected GWB, widened the Republican majority in the Senate and the House. If you wish to filibuster, it is at the Democratic Party’s expense.
From the New York Times, Democrats Warn Bush on Choosing Successor to O’Connor
Mr. Reid said the president should respect the Senate’s “advice and consent” role spelled out in the Constitution and nominate “a highly qualified candidate whose views are within the broad constitutional mainstream and who will make all Americans proud.”
Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Justice O’Connor’s departure “will leave a tremendous void in the highest court of the land.” The senator urged President Bush to confer with leaders of both parties before announcing a nominee. “We should replace Sandra Day O’Connor with a consensus candidate, not an ideologue,” Mr. Schumer said.
Hate to break it to you Dems, but its not your call. This is why elections do matter. “Confer with leaders of both parties before announcing a nominee? Yeah, right. GWB will nominate who he wants to nominate, that is the privilege he has earned by being re-elected President. Its is not for the Democratic Party to decide. I dare you to filibuster.
President Bush called for “a fair vote,” for his choice as successor to the moderate conservative, as he has frequently during a prolonged dispute with lawmakers over Democratic efforts to block other nominees.