o’connor smacks down gop

O’CONNOR SMACKS DOWN REPUBLICANS….Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor gave a speech yesterday at Georgetown in which she slammed Republicans–singling out Tom DeLay and John Cornyn–for undermining the judiciary. (You can listen to NPR coverage of the speech here.) She quoted DeLay’s attacks on the court during Justice Sunday, and then turned on the sarcasm: “This was after the federal courts had applied Congress’ one-time-only statute about Schiavo as it was written–not as the Congressman might have wished it were written. The response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint was that the Congressman blasted the courts…”

As for Cornyn, O’Connor said, “It doesn’t help when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with.”

When O’Connor announced her retirement last year, there was outpouring of praise for her “wisdom” and “moderation” and “thoughtfulness.” That won’t stop Republicans from turning around now and denouncing her comments, but it will make it harder for them to press their case. And–who knows?–maybe it will inspire some of her former colleagues across the judiciary. The pool of self-hating judges has to be fairly small.