Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sandra Day O'Connor Warns U.S. Is In Danger Of Dictatorship

In a speech at Georgetown University, which was reported by NPR & the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Sandra Day O'Connor took aim at Republican leaders whose repeated threats of the courts for alleged liberal bias could, she said, be contributing to a climate of violence against judges.
O'Connor is sadly missed after retiring from the Supreme Court last month after 24 years on the bench. Making way for the 2 anti-abortion judges, Alito & Roberts.
She declared, " We must be ever vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary."
She pointed autocracies in the developing world & former Communist countries as lessons on where interference with the judiciary might lead. Adding, "It takes alot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings."
O'Connor also responded to Tom Delay's actions over the Terry Schiavo case, in which he called for the impeachment of judges involved in that case, & called for more scrutiny of " an arrogant, out of control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their noses at Congress and the President."
O'Connor said such threats " pose a threat to our constitutional freedom", & she told lawyers in the audience, " I want you to tune your ears to these attacks...You have a obligation to speak up. Statutes and constitutions do not protect judicial independence--people do."
As a woman who served on the Supreme Court for 24 years & has watched the current administrations rigging of the Court, etc, we need to take her warnings to heart. She is an intelligent, open-minded woman who will be sorely missed by many, especially women, at this very critical time when a woman's right to choose is being threatend.