July 01, 2005

O'Connor a Goner

Three reasons to like Sandra Day O'Connor, who announced her retirement today:

She was on the right side-- that is, dissenting-- in Gonzales v. Raich;

Her opinion in Lawrence v. Texas would have overturned, on Equal Protection grounds, only those sodomy laws applying exclusively to homosexuals-- a better approach, I thought, than that of either Kennedy or Scalia;

And she wrote a good dissent in Kelo v. New London: "To reason, as the Court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings 'for public use' is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property–and thereby effectively to delete the words 'for public use' from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment."

Of course there are reasons not to like her as well. Ramesh Ponnuru painted a balanced picture two years ago in National Review.

Posted by John Tabin at July 1, 2005 05:14 PM