Saturday, March 11, 2006


I've been out of pocket for the last few days and will continue to be so until mid month. Ken, fortunately, is staying on top of the news and has send this staggering piece today. LS

Justice O'Connor, whose vote gave us the Bush pseudo-Presidency, is now warning us of Bush. Of all the right-wing creeps who are suddenly 'getting it' she's the one who has covered herself over in the most disgrace. While the majority of American voters knew what sheer crap Bush was, most of Bush's fond supporters - even the ones who ran the theft of Florida - did not have the power to give Bush his job. Not only did she give him that single vital vote, but an even cursory reading of the reasoning in the marjority opinion makes it obvious that there was no reasoning, just the fascistic delight in installing an unelected president 'because you can.' O'Connor was a key participant in the destruction of American democracy, and while it's nice to hear that she's changed her opinion of Bush, everything else she ever did in her career is overshadowed by this one utterly villainous vote. -K

Breaking: Sandra Day O'Connor rips into GOP, DeLay, Cornyn, and warns of the "beginnings" of dictatorship


NPR's Nina Totenberg aired an amazing story this morning about a talk that just-resigned Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor gave at Georgetown University. The first woman to serve on the High Court wouldn't allow her actual words to be broadcast, and that's a shame, because -- based on Totenberg's report -- every American needs to hear what she said. The Reagan appointee who became a moderate and an American icon -- Bush v. Gore notwithstanding (the one act that can never be 'notwithstanding'. -K) -- all but named names in thinly veiled attacks on former House majority leader Tom DeLay and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, and ended with a stunning warning.

(UPDATE: Here's a full transcript from Raw Story

O'Connor told her Georgetown audience that judges can make presidents, Congress and governors "really really mad," and that if judges don't make people angry, they aren't doing their job. But she said judicial effectiveness is "premised on the notion that we won't be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts." While hailing the American system of rights and privileges, she noted that these don't protect the judiciary, that "people do":

Then, she took aim at former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. She didnít name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year, when DeLay took out after the courts for its rulings on abortion, prayer, and the Terry Schiavo case. This, said OíConnor, was after the federal courts had applied Congress' one-time-only statute about Schiavo as it was written, not, said O'Connor, as the Congressman might have wished it were written. The response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint, said O'Conner, her voice dripping with sarcasm, was that the congressman blasted the courts.

It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesnít help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. She didnít name him, but it was Texas Sen. John Cornyn who made that statement after a Georgia judge was murdered in court and the family of a federal judge in Illinois murdered in the judge's home.

Now, the kicker:

OíConnor observed that there have been a lot of suggestions lately for so-called judicial reforms -- recommendations for the massive impeachment of judges stripping the courts of jurisdictions and cutting judicial budgets to punish offending judges. Any of these might be debatable, she said, as long as they are not retaliation for decision that political leaders disagree with

I, said Oí Connor, am against judicial reforms driven by nakedly partisan reasoning. Pointing to the experiences of developing countries and formerly Communist countries, where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish, OíConnor said we must be ever vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.  (How come WE all knew that the Bush v Gore decision was the beginning, and she didn't? -K)

If Georgetown or anyone else has an audiotape or videotape of the retired justice's words, we would strongly urge them to release it (with her permission). If the NPR report accurately reflects what she said, this rises to the level of President Dwight Eisenhower's 1961 warning about the "military-industrial complex" -- and should be heard by all.

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