Skip to comments.O'Connor Dismisses Rumors That She Plans to Retire From Court
Posted on 07/06/2003 12:25:01 PM PDT by sarcasm
ASHINGTON, July 6 Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said today that she would serve out the next term of the Supreme Court, dismissing speculation that she was ready to retire.
In an unusual televised interview together with Justice Stephen G. Breyer she also denied longstanding reports that she had intended, in the year 2000, to retire unless Vice President Al Gore became president.
The two justices appeared on the ABC program "This Week," an appearance that ABC said was the first by any sitting justice on the networks' Sunday morning interview programs.
The show's host, George Stephanopoulos, referring to widespread speculation that she was about to retire, asked, "Should we take your silence to mean you intend to serve out the next term?"
"Oh, I assume so," she answered.
Anticipating a vacancy on the court, interest groups and politicians on the right and left had already begun mounting vigorous campaigns to influence President Bush's choice of a new nominee. But when neither Justice O'Connor nor any other justice announced a retirement when the court's term ended in June, it was widely seen as making those campaigns moot.
Speaking out shortly after the court had split sharply on several contentious matters, including gay rights and affirmative action, both justices seemed intent on playing down the court's ideological divisions, which had become especially plain in dissents by Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, the most conservative members of the court.
Even when fundamental disagreements boil over into sharply worded opinions, they said, the justices do not take it personally.
"When you work in a small group of that size, you have to get along, and so you're not going to let some harsh language, some dissenting opinion affect a personal relationship," Justice O'Connor said. "You can't do that."
Justice Breyer said that he sometimes felt when he read "rather sharp words about something I've written, perhaps that it's sort of a question of rhetoric, more than it is of actual human feeling.
"So if I'm really put out by something, I can only go to the person who wrote it and say, `Look, I think you've gone somewhat too far here.' "
Justice Breyer, who joined the majority opinion in the court's ruling to overturn its own precedent and declare unconstitutional a Texas law that prohibited sex between homosexuals, briefly discussed one of the disagreements on the court that was aired in the opinion, written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, and in Mr. Scalia's scathing dissent.
Their difference was over whether the court should pay attention to legal opinions of other world courts, such as the European Court of Human Rights. Justice Breyer held that the foreign court's view that gay men and lesbians had a fundamental right to privacy in their sexual behavior showed that the Supreme Court's prior decision to the contrary was unfounded in the Western tradition. Mr. Scalia said that the views of foreign jurists were irrelevant under the United States Constitution.
"We see all the time, Justice O'Connor and I, and the others, how the world really it's trite but it's true is growing together," Justice Breyer said.
"Through commerce, through globalization, through the spread of democratic institutions, through immigration to America, it's becoming more and more one world of many different kinds of people," he continued. "And how they're going to live together across the world will be the challenge, and whether our Constitution and how it fits into the governing documents of other nations, I think will be a challenge for the next generations."
Blech. Our Constitution, through its simple beauty, does not need to and never will fit into the "governing documents of other nations," as it will far outshine them, especially monstrous messes like that EU constitution.
I find the idea that she has actually authored any of her opinions this year just laughable.
Can this bozo be serious? And he's supposed to judge our laws by our Constitution???
We either need to get an Order of Impeachment going quick or a find a large bucket of hot tar and some feathers... personally, I'm in favor of both!
Mr. Scalia said that the views of foreign jurists were irrelevant under the United States Constitution.
He's right. He's also in the minority.
We've got some serious problems here, folks. Serious!!
The paragraph you quoted and the leftist gsy rights opinion was the whole articles point.
Man !!! First the stage piece missed and now THIS !!
< /bad humor >
This is the sickest point in the whole article. Treasonous. So the justices aren't supposed to go by the US Constitution, they're supposed to check with the latest decisions by the EU Court. This is nasty and disgusting. If I wanted to live by the EU rules I'd give up my citizenship and go live there. This is REALLY bad news.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.