Conservative O'Connor retires
O'Connor is not a "moderate." A "moderate" does not join in the unsigned "per curiam" opinion of Bush v. Gore 531 US 98 (2000). A "moderate" does not support chipping away at legislation for workers by using tired arguments from a corporate court of the late 19th century. And a "moderate" doesn't write dissenting opinions that sound as if she just left the Ayn Rand Institute. See my post "Kelo II" for my wonderment at O'Connor's surprisingly harsh rhetoric.
Is O'Connor an example of a bad justice? Well, let's be nice today and subtract Bush v. Gore. Excepting Bush v. Gore, she was a decent, but still conservative justice. Calling her a moderate does nobody--except far right yahoos--any good.
O'Connor's tenure has had some maverick moments, but she is still essentially an elitist Republican conservative. Apart from women's issues which she can't help but see from her own personal experience that too often modern conservatives need, she doesn't much care about, let alone understand, why people might want legislatures and executives (governors and presidents) to do something on behalf of the poor or working classes in this nation. David Sirota, at his alternative site, the Huffington Post, has it right in this regard.
Remember, Bush, Rove, and other cynical Republican leadership don't want abortion outlawed either--so let's talk about abortion, but we also need some sacrifices from our Republican culturally liberal friends, too. Why should we only fight for the battle of abortion rights when too many so-called Republican "moderate" nomineees palpable to a Senator McCain are Ayn Randian yahoos when it comes to wanting to judicially legislate against the New Deal--a la Janice Rogers Brown, Bush's most recent appellate appointment who may still end up as a nominee for O'Connor's or Rehnquist's seat. Brown, Michael McConnell, Priscilla Owen, and Ted Olson, to take just four examples, have rarely met a government regulation for the people--as opposed to business--that they didn't want to overturn. These people are the true judicial activists, folks. Watch for the signs of the kabuki dance that leads to someone Father Tim Russert and Pepsi Roberts start calling "moderate."
And yes, I did say I have to stop blogging for 10 days (see post just below the one below). And I am. Starting now.