Tuesday, October 6, 2009

O’Connor takes ’subtle shot’ at Roberts-led Supreme Court

By Daniel Tencer

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor says her rulings on the nation's highest court are being "dismantled" by a more right-leaning court.

Speaking at the College of William and Mary's annual Supreme Court Preview, the former justice told her audience that she's "disappointed" with the direction the court has taken.

O'Connor was considered to be a centrist on the court. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 as the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court bench. O'Connor retired in 2006, and President George W. Bush replaced her with Justice Samuel Alito, who is considered to be more conservative in his rulings.

Asked how she felt about the court overturning some of her decisions, O'Connor said: "What would you feel? I'd be a little bit disappointed. If you think you've been helpful, and then it's dismantled, you think, 'Oh, dear.' But life goes on. It's not always positive."

It was a rare moment of candor for a Supreme Court alum. Justices, current or former, rarely comment publicly on the court's political leanings.


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