With the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, it appears that the “mother of all judicial confirmation battles” has begun, and I say bring it on. To those who suggest that President Bush should pick another day to have this fight or should seek to promote comity by appointing someone who shares O’Connor’s inclination for nuance and is less likely to tilt the Court, I respond as follows: To the first objection, I submit that this is currently the most important domestic fight to have and, if not now, when should we have it?; to the second objection I counter that O’Connor, for all of her professionalism and class, has been a major part of the Court’s problem for the past twenty years—in case after case involving the critical issues of our time, she has been the swing vote for ambiguity. What is needed now more than ever from our highest court is clarity and consistency of the application of principles based on a return to strict construction of the American constitutional rule of law. If this is considered “outside the mainstream” or an “extraordinary circumstance” that justifies a filibuster by the left of the confirmation of her replacement, Senate Majority Leader Frist should tell them to bring a cot and enough groceries for a long engagement.
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