Roberts Court Disappoints O'Connor

Moderate justice sees legacy 'dismantled' by conservative turn
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2009 2:12 PM CDT
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor speaks during a meeting of the Independent Commission on Judicial Reform at the West Virginia University College of Law, Sept. 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/David Smith)
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(Newser) – Sandra Day O’Connor is none too pleased with the conservative turn the Supreme Court has taken since she retired. Asked at a conference how she felt about the court overturning or undermining rulings she’d helped make on issues like abortion rights, campaign finance and race, she replied, “What would you feel? 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.”

O’Connor’s comments came during a panel discussion Saturday. She also said diversity was important for the court, and that she was happy to see a woman and Latina appointed in Sonia Sotomayor, “It’s not enough,” she added. “I don’t think we should have nine clones up there.” O'Connor, a moderate justice appointed by Ronald Reagan, was replaced by the more conservative Samuel Alito. (Read more Sandra Day O'Connor stories.)