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July 15, 2005

Senators Beg O'Connor To Reconsider Retirement

Four senators, in their infinite wisdom, have written a joint letter asking Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to reconsider retiring at this time:

In a copy of the letter obtained by CNN, Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-California, Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, urged the 75-year-old jurist to return to the court as the chief justice of the United States to avoid what could be a messy confirmation fight over her successor.

"As United States senators with the constitutional responsibility of 'advice and consent,' we would strongly recommend to President Bush that he nominate you as chief justice," the letter said.

Talk about obnoxious.

It's not a surprise that Barbara Boxer is part of this committee of female senators who obviously have a couple of items on their agenda. (Yes, it's a bipartisan committee, two Republicans and two Democrats, but the Republicans here are more like their Democrat contemporaries.) One, they are worried about whom Bush will nominate in O'Connor's place. Two, they are more concerned with having a woman on the court--possibly as Chief Justice--than with having someone competent and qualified replace O'Connor.

I am not implying that O'Connor is an incompetent justice. However, to put her gender before who would do the best job is ridiculous. Also, O'Connor has often sided with the more liberal justices in controversial rulings, despite the fact that Ronald Reagan nominated her based on her status as a conservative justice. This, too, has its factor in the plea by Boxer and Pals.

O'Connor is 75 years old. She has had a long and exemplary career serving her country. If she wants to enjoy her golden years in retirement, that is certainly her prerogative. While sitting on the Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment, nowhere does it say a justice cannot retire.

(In fact, the one who really should consider retiring is Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who is older than O'Connor and being treated for thyroid cancer.)

Boxer, Landrieu, Collins and Snowe should really mind their own business and begin thinking about how they'll comport themselves during the confirmation process of whomever Bush nominates. Worrying about a potentially nasty confirmation proceeding just shows that they probably don't plan on being above the fray themselves.

It's a shame that our senators and congressmen aren't forced to retire after serving a certain number of terms. If it's good enough for the office of the president, it should be good enough for them.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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