Warning from an obscure jurist

If Sandra Day O’Connor were a famous person, this speech surely would have made big news in the United States!

Former top judge says US risks edging near to dictatorship
· Sandra Day O’Connor warns of rightwing attacks
· Lawyers ‘must speak up’ to protect judiciary
Julian Borger in Washington
Monday March 13, 2006
The Guardian

Sandra Day O’Connor, a Republican-appointed judge who retired last month after 24 years on the supreme court, has said the US is in danger of edging towards dictatorship if the party’s rightwingers continue to attack the judiciary.

In a strongly worded speech at Georgetown University, reported by National Public Radio and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Ms O’Connor took aim at Republican leaders whose repeated denunciations of the courts for alleged liberal bias could, she said, be contributing to a climate of violence against judges.

Ms O’Connor, nominated by Ronald Reagan as the first woman supreme court justice, declared: “We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary.”

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