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O'Connor Retirement Is a Serious Threat to Civil Rights

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  • umcornet
    Justice O Connor s retirement is a clarion call to every American that our rights are in grave danger, said HRC President Joe Solmonese O CONNOR RETIREMENT
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2005
      "Justice O'Connor's retirement is a clarion call to every American
      that our rights are in grave danger," said HRC President Joe Solmonese

      NEWS from the Human Rights Campaign
      For Immediate Release
      Friday, July 1, 2005

      WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese released
      the following statement today in response to the retirement of Supreme
      Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a Reagan appointee.

      "Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has a long and distinguished record as a
      consensus builder in a closely divided court. Justice O'Connor's
      retirement is a clarion call to every American that our rights are in
      grave danger. The loss of Justice O'Connor's moderate voice is a
      serious threat to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights, to
      women's rights and to protections for racial, ethnic and religious
      minorities. We must all come together to fight for a replacement who
      follows in the Justice's tradition.

      "During her time on the court, Justice O'Connor became an increasingly
      supportive of equal rights for all Americans. Her concurring opinion
      in Lawrence v. Texas recognized the basic equality of gay, lesbian,
      bisexual and transgender people under law. In opinions in First
      Amendment cases she protected the constitutional wall between church
      and state. Justice O'Connor also voted to uphold the right to choose
      and to preserve universities' right to promote diversity.

      "The retirement of this mainstream and fair-minded Justice leaves a
      void on a court that is so closely divided. We need a nominee that all
      Americans can rally behind. As President Bush and the U.S. Senate
      consider a replacement on the bench, they should abandon partisanship
      and seek consensus on a nominee who will protect every American

      "America deserves a fair-minded justice who will recognize every
      American's right to equality. As Justice O'Connor retires, there is an
      opportunity to select another Justice who recognizes the fundamental
      importance of equality under the law and whose decisions will be
      guided by it. Given the crucial role played by the Supreme Court in
      the protection of civil rights and civil liberties, the stakes for the
      country could not be higher.

      "President Bush should look to consult with the Senate on a Justice
      who walks in Justice O'Connor's footsteps of fairness. Her moderate,
      thoughtful voice on the bench was a positive influence on the Court
      and we hope that her replacement mirrors those qualities."

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