You need to lighten up Sandy baby...

Those immortal words of John Riggins, spoken to the newly appointed supreme court justice Sandra Day O'Connor, at a Washington banquet when he was clearly 3 sheets to the wind and obviously not getting the response he wanted to his wild and crazy guy personna, pretty clearly summed up everyone's reaction who ever has met Sandra Day O'Connor in person.

Living as I have in Arizona for some time now I've had the experience of seeing her no nonsense, frontier tough personality on a few occasions. She was a big fan and follower of Barry Goldwater, another conservative who often frustrated his right wing friends with the occasional lapse or lean to the middle or left, that would leave them feeling betrayed, but were really nothing more then Old West pragmatism and decency being applied where needed. She feels, and Barry often felt, the most anger for far right elements of the republican party who lose compassion for the outsider, the forgotten person or someone of lesser means. Read her last dissent in the Kelo vs New London eminent domain decision, and her understanding of how the least powerful can be disenfranchised by the powerful.

"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fall out from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result. "That alone is a just government, wrote James Madison, "which impartially secures to every man, what is his own."

That is how a truly conservative justice reads things, in my humble opinion. True to Founders intent, protective of the rights of the common citizen, equal rights under the law.

The battle for her seat will be vicious and ugly. I'm hope GW pulls another Sandra Day O'Connor out of his hat.

Posted on July 2, 2005 .