"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

O'Connor Puts Fascists on Notice

Why don't we read about this in the W. Post or the NY Times--or even on the AP? Here is coverage from the front page of the British Guardian, and here is a summary from the UPI:

O'Connor blasts DeLay on judge threats

WASHINGTON, March 13 (UPI) -- Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has lashed out at GOP right wingers who attack the judiciary.

O'Connor was nominated by conservative icon President Ronald Reagan and was the first woman ever to sit on the Supreme Court. In a powerful speech at Georgetown University Thursday, reported by National Public Radio and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, she warned that the United States was in danger of drifting towards dictatorship because of the attacks.

O'Connor, who retired only last month after 24 years on the Supreme Court, said repeated attacks on judges for alleged liberal bias could boost an atmosphere of violence against judges. "We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary," she said. "...It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings."

In her address to an audience of corporate lawyers on Thursday, O'Connor focused on former House Majority leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, for his comments during the Terry Schiavo "right to die" case last year, The Guardian newspaper in London reported.

After the decision last March that ordered Schiavo removed from life support, DeLay said: "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." He later called for the impeachment of judges involved in the Schiavo case, and called for more scrutiny of "an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president."

Such threats, Ms O'Connor said, "pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedom," and she told the lawyers in her audience: "I want you to tune your ears to these attacks ... You have an obligation to speak up."

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