Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is worried about “dictatorship.” Her remarks at an event at Georgetown were reported by Nina Totenberg and posted at Raw Story.
In an unusually forceful and forthright speech, Oâ€™Connor said that attacks on the judiciary by some Republican leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms.
…she took aim at former House GOP leader Tom DeLay. She didnâ€™t name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year…
It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesnâ€™t help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. She didnâ€™t name him, but it was Texas senator John Cornyn who made that statement…
Oâ€™Connor observed that there have been a lot of suggestions lately for so-called judicial reforms, recommendations for the massive impeachment of judges, stripping the courts of jurisdiction and cutting judicial budgets to punish offending judges.
And now the punch-line:
Pointing to the experiences of developing countries and former communist countries where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish, Oâ€™Connor said we must be ever-vigilant against those who would strongarm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.
So, do you suppose she regrets joining the coup?