.- Members of both sides of the political and moral spectrums sprung into action following Sandra Day O’Connor’s announcement of retirement from the Supreme Court after 23 years.
Many think that the vacancy of O’Connor’s key, and often swing position, opens the door for President Bush to shape the direction of the court, particularly in areas of pro-life and faith issues.
Jan LaRue, Chief Counsel for Concerned Women for America said last week that, "The President has the historic opportunity to keep faith with the promise he has repeated numerous times, which is to name justices who are like Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas."
"The Democrats”, she said, “have shown that their filibusters and condemnations of the President's circuit court nominees were baseless. They will threaten more of the same unless he names a clone of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for example."
She added that, “The President should not yield to the left's demands to consult with the Senate before making a nomination. The Constitution is clear that it's his right alone to make nominations and the Supreme Court agrees.”
Likewise, the National Clergy Council has already sprung into action to urge the White House and Senators to place a pro-life judge in the newly opened seat.
Rev. Rob Schneck, president of the Council said that, "Justice O'Connor's resignation is the most critical of any of the justices because her replacement will turn the direction of this court. We are already praying and working for a nominee that will not waffle as she did."
Pro-Choice opponents too, have begun pulling their resources to try to point the direction of the new justice in their favor.
A press release from the group, NARAL Pro-Choice America featured a picture of President Bush with a caption reading, "Don't let his choice end yours.”
The statement added, "The battle for the Supreme Court has begun…Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement gives President Bush and the radical right the chance they've been waiting for to overturn Roe v. Wade."
The group's website stated that, "They're pulling out all the stops to push through President Bush's anti-choice judicial nominees to the Supreme Court. We cannot let it happen.”
Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation said that, "The vacancy left by Justice O'Connor poses a significant threat to women's reproductive rights in the United States."
"President Bush”, she said, “now has the ability to shatter the fragile five-to-four balance that currently protects access to abortion care in the United States.”
"If President Bush were allowed to install a justice on the Supreme Court overtly hostile to safe and legal abortion, we would be facing a critical time in history," she said.