The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

A moment of hope

The sudden resignation of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O' Connor yesterday has caught a lot of people off guard. Advocates and opposition alike were gearing up for a fight to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who suffers from terminal cancer. Bush has repeatedly promised the religious right that he would nominate a justice that expresses a moral, literalist constitutional temperament. If Bush nominated such a judge to replace Rehnquist, then every one shrugs and the left holds back because the appointment wouldn't change the balance of power on the court. O'Connor's sudden resignation is another thing entirely and not, I assure you, welcome news at the White House. The timing couldn't be worse. The President's polls are in the tank, Congress isn't on board with his agenda, the war looks like a mess, oil is hitting record highs and interest rates are rising. It looks like lame duckness has hit the Belt Way early this cycle. Add to the mix the long, hot days of summer spent with the 24 hour news cycle going wall to wall with as many as three Supreme Court nominee's; to replace Rehnquist and O' Connor and an appointment of a new Chief Justice, which also requires Senate Confirmation. We have reached, in seems, a moment of critical mass that will likely shift the balance in the Supreme Court for many years to come. The question then becomes, what will the new balance look like? Stay with The Freeman's Burden all summer as we focus on the confirmation hearings and the new balance in the Court.


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