The Washington Post reports on the Supreme Court term just concluded:
“The Supreme Court term that ended last week will be remembered as the one in which a court usually considered conservative decided to play against type.
“The court backed gay rights in an opinion that essentially prohibits the majority from imposing its notions of sexual morality. It enshrined racial and ethnic diversity in higher education as a compelling goal of government policy, one important enough to warrant an exception to the usual race-neutral constitutional rules. It let gender equality in employment trump the sovereignty of a state. And it delivered not one but two stern rebukes to states over what justices considered unfair procedures for sentencing people to death.”
And then there’s this:
“Legal analysts say that this performance shows not only O’Connor’s moderating influence, but also how the ‘O’Connor Court’ functions as a rough barometer of public opinion, particularly elite opinion.”
All of which means: If President Bush is a conservative–an open question, amazingly enough, after two and one-half years–he needs to play for keeps on the two nominations he is reasonably certain to make.
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