Female Senators Urge O’Connor to Reconsider Retirement
Proving that Arlen Specter is not the only United States Senator lacking a fundamental understanding of politics, four female Senators are lobbying Sandra Day O’Connor to un-resign and move up to Chief Justice.
Four female senators called Thursday for retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to stay on the court and try for chief justice if the ailing William Rehnquist steps down. In a letter to O’Connor, Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Barbara Boxer of California asked the nation’s first female justice to consider staying on the high court if Chief Justice Rehnquist relinquishes the top spot.
Rehnquist was discharged Thursday after two nights in the hospital for treatment of a fever. O’Connor announced her retirement on July 1, but has made it conditional on a replacement being confirmed.
“We urge you to reconsider your resignation and return to the Supreme Court to serve as chief justice, should there be a vacancy,” the senators said in the Thursday letter. The four senators also said they will “strongly recommend” to President Bush that O’Connor become the next chief justice if Rehnquist steps down. “We believe such a history-making nomination by the president would demonstrate leadership that unites Americans around the shared values of liberty, the rule of law and the preservation of our constitutional freedoms,” they said.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and top Judiciary Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont first publicly stoked speculation about a possible O’Connor candidacy for chief justice on Sunday. “I think it would be quite a capping to her career if she served for a time, maybe a year or so,” Specter said.
I’m sure it would. But why would the president appoint O’Connor, who is not only old but who has a wildly different view of the role of the Court, Chief Justice even if she were staying around?