Friday, July 01, 2005

War of the Worlds Opens This Weekend

We knew that the new Tom Cruise film War of the Worlds was opening this weekend, but who would have expected the bombshell that was dropped this morning by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, that will lead to all-out war in the Senate. We can expect the rhetoric to superheat as if the fate of the world were under dire threat.

As has been well-noted, Justice O'Connor has generally been the fulcrum in the balance of the court. And while President Bush has clearly stated that he would like to see another Justice in the mold of Justices Thomas or Scalia, I think that Justice O'Connor has been my choice for Justice I'd most like to see cloned. At times, she sided with the liberals on the court (most memorably for me, in the just majorities in Lawrence and in Romer v. Evans), and at other times, she sided with the conservatives (for recent examples, in the just dissents in Kelo and Raich). But whether tipping "left" or "right", whether in the majority or the dissent, by my lights, she was most often on the side of justice, principles, and faithfully defending the Constitution. (A true "upward" justice, if I may.) She has been a tremendous credit to the prestige of the Court, and she will be sorely missed. While selfishly I would desire her continued service, after 24 years on the Court and many many years prior to that in public service, I cannot begrudge her wishing to spend the years and health that remain to her tending to her personal life. Ave atque vale!

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