"During the final weeks of the Supreme Court term, it was hard not to be struck by one recurring theme: Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor—a few short years ago the "most powerful woman in America," a "majority of one," the "most powerful person on the court," and the most "powerful Supreme Court Justice in recent history"—had somehow become the most disregarded. With the court's newly dominant conservative wing focused pretty much on whether to ignore or overrule her outright, it's clear that one real casualty of the new Roberts Court is O'Connor's lifetime of work on an extraordinary range of constitutional issues."
by Dahlia Lithwick
Monday, July 9, 2007
Yes, O'Conner's legacy is being quickly erased, but that's how she wanted it. She knew that she'd be followed by someone different from herself. Her successor would either be a liberal appointed by Bill Clinton, or an extreme conservative appointed by George Bush. She chose the extreme conservative. She timed her retirement so Bush would be in office.
In fact, she chose Bush to be President in her controversial 2000 decision about the Florida vote. Clearly, she was an extreme conservative at heart. I suspect she was a moderate because she didn't want to have to be DIRECTLY responsible for the consequences of ideologically-driven decisions.