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June 05, 2005 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2005-06-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - 9

March 29, 2005
Jackson v. Birmingham
Board of Education. The
decision allows a male
teacher to bring a Title
IX claim if he complains
about sex discrimination.
June 23, 2003
Grutter v. Bollinger, Gratz
v. Bollinger. In this 5-4
decision, the court sup-
ported the use of race as
a "plus factor" in admis-
sions. The decision had
strong implications for the
University's admissions
June 29, 1992
Planned Parenthood of
Southeastern PA v. Casey.
In the majority decision, Jus-
tices O'Connor, Anthony M.
Kennedy and David Hackett
Souter reaffirm what they
call the "central holding" of
the Supreme Court's 1973
ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Dec. 10, 2003
McConnell v. FEC.
O'Connor co-authored
this ruling with Justice
John Paul Stevens,
declaring the McCain
-Feingold campaign
finance law constitu-
March 5, 2003
Ewingv. California and
Lockyer v. Andrade.
O'Connor upholds
California's "3-Strikes"
law, which legalizes
long prison terms for
repeat offenders.
Dec. 12, 2000
Bush v. Gore. O'Connor
votes with majority in
5-4 decision concern-
ing voting in Florida.
The Court's decision
results in George W.
Bush becoming the
43rd president of the
United States.

Justice O'Connor decides
to retire after 24 years
Bush's appointment has the power constituency to make history, reward a friend and lessen the
chance of having a more conservative nominee blocked in the
to alter the ynamic of the court Senate.
President Bush could rein the court to the right by nominat- Bush's options were rearranged when it was O'Connor, not
ing a bedrock conservative to replace the retiring Justice Sandra Rehnquist, who announced she was stepping down last week.
Day O'Connor. "Will politics be considered?" said Berenson, a former
He could make history - and perhaps pick up votes for the Supreme Court clerk. "Will factors like the diversity of the court
GOP - by naming the first Hispanic to the court. Or he could and a justice's life story be considered? Sure. ButI don't think
choose a woman and keep intact the court's current balance of those things are going to drive the decision."
seven men and two women. Intellect. Character. Judicial philosophy. The prospect of
Bush has had nearly five years to consider how to burn the being able to win Senate confirmation. Those are the overriding
"G.W.B" brand on the bench of the highest court in the land. issues that several legal experts and advocates on both the right
Regardless of whom he picks, the closely divided court, and left think will guide the president, who is facing intense
which often splits 5-4 on key decisions, will very well end up pressure from both sides of the political aisle.
with a more conservative bent. Because Rehnquist sits on the conservative side of the court,
The question is, how far to the right will the post-O'Connor replacing him with another conservative would not have shifted-
court be? And how much farther to the right will it lean once the balance of power on the nine-member court.
the 80-year-old Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who is sick The same cannot be said of O'Connor. She has been the criti-
with thyroid cancer, retires and possibly gives Bush a second cal fifth vote on abortion and other contentious issues involving
chance to shape the court? privacy, equal opportunity, the environment and religious rights.
Legal experts on both sides speculate that the retirement of "It is dramatically different with O'Connor retiring," Ralph
O'Connor raises the prospect that Bush will name Attorney Neas, president of the liberal People for the American Way, said
General Alberto Gonzales. He is not a favorite of conservatives, Saturday. "Replacing the conservative O'Connor with a right-
who continued to target the White House this weekend in their wing ideological would be a constitutional catastrophe.
anti-Gonzales campaign, saying his views on issues such as "A right-wing appointment could turn back the clock seven
abortion and affirmative action are not aligned far enough to decades on so many fundamental rights and liberties and legal_
the right. protections that most Americans think are theirs forever,"
"When the right looks at Judge Gonzales, they have tended Neas said. "These are rights and liberties and protections that
to worry they are getting another David Souter," Brad Beren- could disappear overnight ifa right-wing majority takes con-
son, a White House lawyer during Bush's first term, said about trol of the court."
how conservatives were disappointed when Justice Souter sides Neas' group on Saturday unveiled a television ad, set to
with the court's more liberal members. "I don't personally think run on national cable news and in selected media markets
that's fair, but that is their view." starting Tuesday, that asks whether Bush will choose a jus-
Gonzales' confirmation hearing for the Justice Department tice who protects fundamental rights and freedoms. It ends
job focused on his role in developing the administration's policy with the message targeted squarely at Bush: "May you choose
on the interrogation and treatment of suspected terrorists. It is an wisely, Mr. President. The eyes of history are upon you."
issue sure to dominate hearings should he turn out to be Bush's Both the liberals and conservatives, who say Neas is
first nominee to the Supreme Court. exaggerating the potential change to the court, think they
Yet, Gonzales is a loyal friend of the president's - and His- have the upper hand in persuading Bush to see it their way.
panic, a member of one of the fast-growing voting blocs. Bush Yet the president's independent streak might make him
might be willing to accept a chilly reception from his far-right impossible to sway.

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