“The Next Sandra Day”

I’ve got an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal (also, conveniently, featured on the Journal’s mostly-free companion site OpinionJournal.com), pointing out that retiring Justice O’Connor was remarkably outspoken in criticizing the evils of excessive litigation, and suggesting that President Bush may wish to pick a successor who shares these concerns. I also discuss some very revealing comments made by the Senate minority leader last week: as OpinionJournal.com sums up the implications, “Harry Reid may be willing to give up Roe v. Wade to get a trial lawyer on the Supreme Court”. (Walter Olson, “The Next Sandra Day”, OpinionJournal.com, Jul. 7; same article at subscriber-only WSJ site).

More: On the recent tendency for Justice O’Connor to be lauded to the skies by public figures who were not so fond of her jurisprudence while it was unfolding, see Gail Heriot, Jul. 3, and Adam Nagourney, “Democrats Adopt O’Connor as Model for Bush Court Pick”, New York Times, Jul. 7. And reader Skip Oliva of the Voluntary Trade Council writes, regarding Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine:

DeWine chairs the Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, and he’s certainly been pro-trial bar and pro-prosecutor in that position. Just recently he sponsored legislation (with Democratic support) to give the Justice Department wiretap powers in criminal antitrust investigations. I can’t see the need for this given the DOJ rarely fails to win its “anti-cartel” cases without coerced plea bargains, but DeWine has insisted that prosecutors “lack the necessary tools” to protect us from a plague of antitrust violations.

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