Sandra Day O’Connor and Gay Rights

SandradayoconnorI found Deb Price’s summation of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s record on gay rights to be an insightful look at this swing vote we may be losing. The crux of O’Connor’s voting on gay issues seemed to be this: “She was torn between her traditional views — always writing of ‘homosexuals,’ not saying ‘gay Americans’ as some colleagues did — and her identification with the underdog.”

There is speculation (all too hopeful, I’m afraid) that O’Connor could be asked to come back as Chief Justice if Rehnquist decides to retire. However, since Bush seems inept at listening or taking advice from anyone but his inner circle, we’re most likely up for a long battle over conservative nominees.

Arlen Specter on Face the Nation (clip)

O’Connor Leaves Mixed Legacy on Gay Rights [detroit news]


  1. Glenn says

    Chrisafer and Donald are right…that O’Connor represents the “moderate” voice is truly scary. And the really frightening part is, her replacement — whoever that might be — is going to make her look pretty damn good.

    Still, I think it worth remembering that it is Kennedy that has actually been something of a gay-rights champion on the Court, having written Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas, the latter of which, honestly, I got choked up reading. So until one of the 4 “liberals” retires, I think we at least won’t see any retrenchment on gay issues.

  2. Schroeder says

    Chrisafer, I agree with you completely. The fact that I’m wishing another swing voter in the form of O’Conner would take O’Conner’s place is just telling of how much of a conservative influx of nominees we’re going to get.
    Dreadful thought.