And then there were five…
After last week’s buzz about Rehnquist’s possible retirement, today has brought an interesting new development. While it has been widely known that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has made it clear she intended to retire prior to 2008, and likely prior to December of this year, she has apparently handed in her resignation to the White House this morning:
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the high court and the key swing vote in some of the nation’s highest-profile cases, announced her resignation Friday.
In a letter to the White House, the moderate conservative, said she will step down when her successor is confirmed.
Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, she is now retiring at age 75. O’Connor was the first woman US Supreme Court Justice and while a staunch Republican supporter, has been considered among the moderate’s of the Republican camp. As one of the 6-3 majority in most pro-choice issues, the news comes as a shattering blow to women’s rights, the likelihood of a nominee that is absolutely anti-choice extremely likely, if not an absolute. In a related post, the potential nominee’s were discussed last week when the speculation over Rehnquist’s retirement was occurring.
Perhaps the most ominous words that loom on the horizon are the words of President Bush, himself who said this with regards to his nomination considerations:
On Friday, Bush said he is looking for candidates “who meet a high standard of legal ability, judgment and integrity, and who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our country.” [emphasis mine]
At any rate, there goes the neighborhood folks. Welcome to the Big Top, circa 2005.