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Algorem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:11 AM
Original message
Sandra Day O'Connor rips into GOP,warns of "beginnings" of dictatorship
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 11:27 AM by Algorem
http://www.pnionline.com/dnblog/attytood/archives/00290...

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 -- 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.

We transcribed some of the report, which you can listen to here- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=52...

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 didnt 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 OConnor, 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...



Retired Supreme Court Justice hits attacks on courts and warns of dictatorship

http://rawstory.com/news/2006/Retired_Supreme_Court_Jus...

RAW STORY
Published: March 10, 2006

...Supreme Court justices keep many opinions private but Sandra Day OConnor no longer faces that obligation. Yesterday, the retired justice criticized Republicans who criticized the courts. She said they challenge the independence of judges and the freedoms of all Americans. OConnors speech at Georgetown University was not available for broadcast but NPRs legal correspondent Nina Totenberg was there.

Nina Totenberg: In an unusually forceful and forthright speech, OConnor said that attacks on the judiciary by some Republican leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms. OConnor began by conceding that courts do have the power to make presidents or the Congress or governors as she put it really, really angry. But, she continued, if we dont make them mad some of the time we probably arent doing our jobs as judges, and our effectiveness, she said, is premised on the notion that we wont be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts. The nations founders wrote repeatedly, she said, that without an independent judiciary to protect individual rights from the other branches of government those rights and privileges would amount to nothing. But said OConnor as the founding fathers knew statutes and constitutions dont protect judicial independence, people do.

And then she took aim at former GOP house leader Tom DeLay. She didnt 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 rulings on abortions, prayer and the Terri Schiavo case. This, said OConnor was after the federal courts had applied Congress onetime only status of Schiavo as it was written. Not, said OConnor, as the congressman might have wished it were written. This response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint, said OConnor, 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 doesnt help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that a senator disagrees with. She didnt name him, but it was Texas senator John Cornyn who made that statement ,after a Georgia judge was murdered in the courtroom and the family of a federal judge in Illinois murdered in the judges home. OConnor 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 jurisdiction and cutting judicial budgets for punishing offending judges. Any of these might be debatable, she said, as long as they are not retaliation for decisions that political leaders disagree with...

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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. WOW! Only I think it started 4 years ago or more
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. More ;n 4. There was a reason for changes in laws re media consolidation
back in the 80s. The press was part of the reason for Nixon's resignation. Back then, things actually got reported which allowed an informed citizenry pretty well shut the crooks down. A lot of the same people are about now. They learned much from past mistakes. They got their ducks in line for this era of total take down of the American system.

Part of the great hatred of Bill Clinton was due to his messing up their time plan.

Justice O'Connor had a ring side seat for a long time. She should have seen it coming for a long time. Wonder if she sleeps fretfully these days.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. Bill Clinton helped Consolidate the Media.
Telecommunications Act 1996
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. And it all got started back in the 80s
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. Oh how I wish she didn't retire..
I know her husband is sick.....and I hope she is able to comfort him...
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Misskittycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. She is now Chancellor of the College of William and Mary
She didn't retire. Her picture was on the cover of the Winter alumni newsletter. I couldn't believe it.
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
4. Yes but did she take responsibility for her part in all of this?
She helped get Bush into office. I want her to say it is something she regrets. She is one of the five reasons we're in this mess.
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DinahMoeHum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. Sorry, this does not get her off the hook for her vote in Bush v Gore.
She can burn in hell with Rehnquist as far as I am concerned.

:grr:
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. Seconded
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Thirded
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. I agree to the nth degree
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
6. She could have stayed in her seat and help stem the tide
Her retirement gave them the court
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
7. Well, I agreed with a lot of
what Sandra O'Connor has said over the years.

But I do not see criticizing the courts as in any way interfering with their functions. Judges and Justices are humans, too, not gods, and prone to the same mistakes as others, and not above criticism. And neither are those that criticize them.
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TAPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
8. I thought she retired because she wanted to spend more time
with her ailing husband!!!! Now she's on lecture tours and teaching classes and speaking up about the beginnings of dictatorship! :wtf:
Not that she would have anything to do with that!
Makes me wonder how her husband is.
Is this just another version of "spending more time with family"? And if it is - what did they promise her?
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Actually I think her husband has Alzeimers....I think he is really sick...
And I suspect that she may simply be tired....that's a huge burdon to carry for 20-30 years...maybe she wanted to experience some freedom from that before she won't be able to?

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radio4progressives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
11. O'Connor Betrays the American People
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 11:39 AM by radio4progressives
Just around the time of the Alito hearings, i had read or heard a report that O'Connor had taken a position with a University which gave the lie to her publically stated reasons, necessity to go back home to Arizona and take care of her ailing husband.

She seems to be trying to distance herself from her own role in the fascist state, not only with her vote in the Bush vs Gore, but also resigning at a time when she knew damn well that her replacement would be white male fascists who would seek to overturn laws that she helped to protect.

She wined and dined with many of these fascists, held private parties, and now she has a change of heart? Why? Because a few of these fascists pigs were so emboldened to speak their minds publicly about the judiciary?

I'd really like to have the opportunity to have a sit down with her on what's happened, but until she is honest about her own duplicity in the cultivation of these fascists, she will not have any credibility with me whatsoever.

edited to correct factual error.

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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
12. Her speech reminds me of the old commercial about Shake&Bake
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 11:48 AM by Vinnie From Indy
It's the one where at the very end of the commercial a little country girl exclaims in a southern drawl "And I helped!" Well Sandra, you helped push America into this most dangerous place.

Also, if she feels so stringly about these issues, why is she not allowing her words to be recorded and spread far and wide? IS propriety and tradition more important to her than the most basic American freedoms and the rule of law?
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
13. Excuse me Mrs. O'Conner. But, you were one of the scum bags
that appointed Bush in 2000. You are way too late with your warning.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I thought of that when I got to Schiavo thing--Supreme Court did same
thing with Bush v. Gore: made a decision that applied one time, to one person, and can never be applied to anyone else in the future.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Also, why didn't you vote to hear Sibel Edmond's case?
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 01:52 PM by calipendence
Unless there were two jurists on the left that also voted not to hear, I suspect you were one that could have made a difference and not have had it "dismissed with no opinion". It only takes four votes to hear a case. That would have been one good way to "go out with a bang" if we could have heard that case in SCOTUS! Why the big concern now?

You might claim now that you didn't know the consequences of the 2000 decision in "selecting" Bush. But you have no excuse for that recent decision if you truly believe there is something wrong, unless of course, that case was rejected out of fear.
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #16
28. She's got a lot of nerve to be telling us to look out for the
political situation when she played a key role in putting is in the fix we and the world are in.
The fate of the world was in the SC and they opted for the illegal choice, bastards.
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
15. ermmm...
Isn't O'Connor one of the infamous five who selected Bush?

Sheesh.

I HATE hypocrites.
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
17. When O'Connor is "Warning" - that is quite something!
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dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
18. OConner betrayed her country.....
allowing Bush to take the WH withour counting all the votes in Florida.
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. she did, indeed-NOW she says this?!!
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dpbrown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
23. She's just worried about calls for violence against judges
This cuts both ways - she can see that the current court is set to hand the wingers victory after victory on abortion and civil rights and privacy, and she's warning liberals not to criticize the courts.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
24. "beginnings"?? How long was she in a coma? nt
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
26. I wonder if she's worried about impeachments later...
Once the Dems get control of congress and the White House, that they might seek to do impeachments on SCOTUS for different cases they might have perceived have aided and abetted the past president, and that they might go after Bush's nominees. Maybe that's what she's worried about. If both the Sibel Edmonds and Jeffry Sterling case dimissals were shown to be knowing coverups of wrongdoings by those in power, it would certainly add fuel to that sort of thing, and perhaps even go after her for being on the court at that time.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
29. Gee, Sandra
Maybe you should have thought about that when you illegally helped to install Bush as president.

Don't think just because you're having a late awakening that it's going to save your legacy....
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:31 AM
Response to Original message
30. disgusting
whose rights was Ms. O'Connor concerned about when she illegally inflicted an incompetent piece of shit into the White House ???
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
31. .
kick
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necso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-17-06 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
32. BTW,
this is huge.

Justice (Sandra Day) O'Connor is recently retired and hardly a Democratic partisan.

I commend her courage in speaking out -- and I hope that she continues to do so.

(But apparently there was only one reporter and no broadcast, released transcripts or recordings -- which is most unfortunate.)
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