Sandra Day O'Connor:
Tom Goldstein has a preview of Joan Biskupic's new book on Justice O'Connor. Sounds fascinating.
Something from Tom Goldstein's email interview with Biskupic that stands out is one of Biskupic's remarks about the vetting/nomination/confirmation of O'Connor:

"In the vetting process, Ken Starr was a major player and abortion, of course, was Topic A. The book includes some Reagan correspondence to senators, saying in effect: Trust me. She's with us on abortion."

Such an anecdote about O'Connor would presumably strengthen the resolve of Senators such as Sam Brownback and Tom Coburn to not just trust, but also verify with regard to Harriet Miers.
10.7.2005 7:06pm
Gordon (mail):
Despite the animus she has received from ideological jurists of all persuasions, from some on this blog to the professor who compared her to Bull Connor in a law review article, Sandra Day O'Connor has been, in my opinion, the best justice on the Supreme Court for the past 24 years.

The highlight of her career has been her unstinting adherence to the true principles of federalism, not the federalism of a Scalia, abandoned when inconvenient (as with Raich v. Gonzalex and, it appears, in the upcoming Oregon Death with Dignity case). But there have been many other highlights too: the application of strict scrutiny to affirmative action, the unstinting support for women's equality which has made the Equal Rights Amendment unnecessary, her common sense approach to Establishment Clause issues.

Her opinions contain something missing from more dogmatic opinions from Justices to her left and right - common sense. This common sense perhaps explains her greatest failure - the attempt to solve the problem caused by Roe v. Wade once and for all. Her experience speaks to why we need more legislators and fewer academics on the Supreme Court - which is my hope for Harriet Miers.

Perhaps her greatest moments have come at the end of her tenure. Her dissent in Kelo eloquently lays out the argument for the real meaning of the Takings Clause. And her concurrence in McCreary (criticized by Professor Volokh) remains for me the most powerful argument yet made in the battles over the real meaning of the Establishment Clause.

As you can tell, I am a big fan of Justice O'Connor. She will be missed.
10.7.2005 7:30pm
O'Connor's Kelo dissent may have been eloquent but it was hardly the work of a great federalist. Whereas it was the majority which urged deference to state and local determinations of what a "public use" consists of.
10.7.2005 7:49pm
Gordon (mail):
I think the reason O'Connor abandoned federalism in Kelo was because it didn't involve a dispute between federal and state authority, it involved a dsipute between government and the individual private property owner. O'Connor's federalist principles clearly acknowledge the incorporation of a fundamental Bill of Rights right like the Takings Clause.
10.7.2005 8:20pm
Nunzio (mail):
I don't know, O'Connor always seemed the most erratic of the justices over the last 15 years.

I don't see how you can be in the majority in Lane and Garrett. I also don't see why she's much more sympathetic to sex discrimination than to disability and age discrimination, other than she has more experience with the first type.

More than any of them, she seems to make it up case-by-case.
10.7.2005 10:39pm
erp (mail):
Does anyone else think it's a bit unseemly for O'Connor to leave the court ostensibly to spend more time with her sick husband and then announce she'll be the new chancellor of the College of William and Mary which last time I checked, isn't in Arizona?

I never trusted her for a minute and this segue proves my suspicions were correct.
10.9.2005 5:36pm