Man Oh Man Oh Man
So, when there's talk about a guy like Rehnquist retiring, my biggest concern is that a notorious conservative will just be replaced by a notorious conservative who is young. It's not a lost seat, but it is a seat that was at least old.
Now with O'Connor announcing her retirement, progressives are in big trouble. O'Connor could be counted on to be moderate on issues like abortion, the death penalty and even property rights. She will be replaced (not with a moderate) but with a notorious conservative - only younger.
I often disagreed with O'Connor, but I always felt she was her own woman and that she offered opinions based upon sound legal reasoning, and not, as many of her fellow conservative colleagues have done, based on ridiculous concepts and outlandish ideology.
I cannot tell a lie, this is the most significant impact so far of Bush "winning" a second term. The impact of his appointments (undoubtedly conservative and undoubtedly selected to advance ideology) will have a long-term and profoundly negative impact on American jurisprudence.
The news hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm still reeling.