06 July 2005

O'Connor, my Connor...

We miss you already, Sandra D.

From the NYT:
For her part, Justice O'Connor voted in each case with the group that found the (Ten Commandments) displays unconstitutional, a surprising development given her past voting record. She explained herself in a concurring opinion in the Kentucky case, McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union, No. 03-1693, which was decided with a majority opinion by Justice David H. Souter.

"It is true that many Americans find the Commandments in accord with their personal beliefs," Justice O'Connor said in her concurring opinion. "But we do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment."

Justice O'Connor said the country had worked well, when compared with nations gripped by religious violence, by keeping religion "a matter for the individual conscience, not for the prosecutor or bureaucrat." She added: "Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"
Imagine that: respect for both sides while focusing on the law. If the absence of that isn't an "extraordinary circumstance," I don't know what is.

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