Replacing Justice O’Connor |

Replacing Justice O’Connor

Alex Miller

Friday, shortly after Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her resignation, the president made a brief speech in the Rose Garden. In it, he praised O’Connor as a woman of integrity who had brought wisdom, decency and intellect to the court, and he said he takes choosing her replacement seriously.If by that Bush means that he wants to replace O’Connor with a similar-minded justice who’s not a conservative idealogue, we applaud him. If Bush’s promise to be “deliberate and thorough” in the process of picking a new justice simply means he’ll put forward yet another unconfirmable extremist of the John Bolton or Priscilla Owens variety, well, it could get ugly.It doesn’t seem to be in this president’s character to work agreements ahead of time with the Democrats, and that’s a shame. Bush himself is a conservative idealogue who thinks his god is a better source of counsel than the American people or the people elected to represent them. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, for a leader who represents all of us to do the right thing and pick a nominee who inhabits the center?Heck, we’d even settle for and expect a moderate conservative of some kind. We just hope Bush can, just this once, set aside his personal beliefs and work for the greater population. That means selecting a justice who’s best shown he or (preferably) she can interpret the Constitution in a fair and balanced matter, not spin the law to some ideological end.Really, is that so much to ask?Check out the new daily commentary, “Off the Press: An Editor’s Blog,” at, Colorado

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