[OP-ED] Bring back Justice O’Connor

Justice O'Connor
Justice O’Connor

By William Blake and Hans Hacker | The Baltimore Sun

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are posted for discussion purposes only.)

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia has already deepened the divide in American politics. Even when the president’s party controls the Senate, Supreme Court confirmations are difficult; just ask President George W. Bush about what happened with Harriet Miers. In the midst of an open-seat presidential election, and with the White House and Senate controlled by opposing — and increasingly polarized — parties, it might seem impossible for President Barack Obama to put a new justice on the bench.

The key word there is new. To minimize the chances of a Senate filibuster, President Obama should nominate Sandra Day O’Connor. There is historical precedent for reappointing a former justice: Charles Evans Hughes stepped down from the court to run for president in 1916; in 1930, he rejoined the court as chief justice.

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