Sandra Day O’Connor, former Supreme Court Justice, is saddened by current sentiment toward the Supreme Court in the United States, and discussed her feelings on the matter on Sunday morning chat show Face The Nation.
Sandra Day O’Connor, a moderate in her bench time with the Supremes, started talking about the recent controversy over the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. O’Connor served in her position for nearly twenty-five years, and during that time, was careful to remain a more tempering influence on the highest court in the land.
Appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981 amid controversy and concern that due to being the first woman to serve in the court that she would refuse to repeal Roe vs. Wade, it would appear Sandra Day O’Connor was present for the shift in American public perception of the court to which she now refers.
Given her historic appointment and near quarter-decade of service, it’s a little sad that in O’Connor’s twilight years, her view of the Supreme Court and its perception by average Americans has diminished so greatly. The former Supreme explains:
“In the past, when the public is asked about three branches of government, the judicial branch has had the highest respect. Now it’s the same for all, it’s all down… It’s a great disappointment to me.”
O’Connor, whose vote was one of the deciding votes in the Bush vs. Gore case that ended so controversially more than a decade ago, says that she believes the decision in part may have destroyed public perception of the highest court in the land:
“There’s been some suggestion … that the trend down began with the Bush v. Gore decision,” she said. “That could be something that triggered public re-examination.”
O’Connor also weighed in on the Citizens United decision, one that has become a controversial point of contention in the US due to the fact it allows moneyed corporate interests to funnel money anonymously into the political system, and in a circumspect manner, said:
“It hasn’t helped. I’ll put it that way.”
Is Sandra Day O’Connor right that Americans have lost respect for the Supreme Court?