O’Connor Warns Against ‘Beginnings’ of Dictatorship
Posted on Mar 10, 2006
“It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings,” former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor told a Georgetown audience, according to an NPR report. (Hat tip: Huff Po)
Philadelphia Daily News:
NPR’s Nina Totenberg aired an amazing story this morning about a talk that just-resigned Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor gave at Georgetown University. The first woman to serve on the High Court wouldn’t allow her actual words to be broadcast, and that’s a shame, because—based on Totenberg’s report—every American needs to hear what she said. The Reagan appointee who became a moderate and an American icon—Bush v. Gore notwithstanding—all but named names in thinly veiled attacks on former House majority leader Tom DeLay and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, and ended with a stunning warning.
We transcribed some of the report, which you can listen to here. (UPDATE: Here’s a full transcript from Raw Story.)
O’Connor told her Georgetown audience that judges can make presidents, Congress and governors “really really mad,” and that if judges don’t make people angry, they aren’t doing their job. But she said judicial effectiveness is “premised on the notion that we won’t be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts.” While hailing the American system of rights and privileges, she noted that these don’t protect the judiciary, that “people do.”
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at an earlier speaking engagement.