Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, Sandra!

I'm wearing all green and a shamrock brooch in honor of all the Irish getting drunk today. What's Irish sexual foreplay, by the way? "Brrrrace yerself, Bridget!" Just kidding, just kidding.

Sandra O'Connor, the first woman selected to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the first woman (of two total, probably) to leave it gave a speech some days ago. This wasn't much discussed in the United States, but the U.K. Guardian wrote about it and the lefty blogosphere talked about it, except for me. So now I will talk about it, all alone and too late. Though usually I'm too early with the news, I've noticed. The trick is to lead, but just by a nose.

In any case, Sandra is concerned about the wingnuts:

Sandra Day O'Connor, a Republican-appointed judge who retired last month after 24 years on the supreme court, has said the US is in danger of edging towards dictatorship if the party's rightwingers continue to attack the judiciary.

In a strongly worded speech at Georgetown University, reported by National Public Radio and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Ms O'Connor took aim at Republican leaders whose repeated denunciations of the courts for alleged liberal bias could, she said, be contributing to a climate of violence against judges.

Ms O'Connor, nominated by Ronald Reagan as the first woman supreme court justice, declared: "We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary."

She pointed to autocracies in the developing world and former Communist countries as lessons on where interference with the judiciary might lead. "It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings."

I wonder what she thinks about her decision to enable the selection of George Bush in 2000, because that is what got the whole conservative hatefest going. Decisions have consequences as the wingnuts always tell us.