Even A Former Justice
Has to Show Some Skin to Sell Books
By William Boardman
Non-Justice Gypsy Rose Lee by (operagloves.com)
Some Public Service Merits Eternal Ingratitude
Sandra Day O'Connor, 83, retired as a Supreme Court Justice but still active on the judicial and book tour circuits, has been teasing the rest of us for years with hints and winks and suggestions that she may feel badly about being the deciding vote in the 5-4 Supreme Court decision that gave the country President Bush and all that he wrought over two disastrous terms.
In January 2010, O'Connor was asked whether Bush v Gore was the right decision and she danced away like this:
"I don't know. It was a hard decision to make. But I do know this: there were at least three separate recounts of the votes, the ballots, in the four counties where it was challenged and not in one of the recounts would the election have changed. So I don't worry."
Maybe Electing Bush President Hurt the Court's Reputation
In the summer of 2012, O'Connor acknowledged declining public approval of the Supreme Court, and the widely held public belief that the court's decision in Bush v Gore was based on the Justices' political views. O'Connor acknowledged the case was "a tipping point," but did not tip her hand beyond that.
In March 2013, on Fresh Air, O'Connor responded coyly to a reporter's claim that she had admitted to regret for her Bosh v Gore vote:
" Well, I don't know why he said that. I've not said that myself, and it's not anything I would want to weigh in on. There's no point in my, at this point, saying I regret some decision I made. I'm not going to do that."
The reporter persisted, asking, "So you say you never really said that?"
"I hope I didn't," O'Connor answered, keeping hope alive with a masterful non-denial denial.
Tell Me, Justice O'Connor, What Were Your Feelings About Bush?
On another program around that time, another reporter called O'Connor's attention to a photograph ff her and other justices sitting around looking bored while waiting for the 2001 Bush inaugural to start. The reporter, Rachel Maddow, served up a softball that let O'Connor slip away from any 20/20 hindsight. Maddow asked O'Connor how she felt that inauguration day: