Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor now says she has doubts about the most controversial case she ever sat on and thinks the high court would have been better if it had refused to hear the 2000 case that decided a presidential election.
In an interview with The Chicago Tribune
editorial board, O’Connor said, “It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue.
“Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’”
She told the Tribune that the case “stirred up the public” and “gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation.”
“Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision,” she said. “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem of the day.”
O’Connor’s vote with the majority in the 5-4 Bush v. Gore decision effectively gave victory to Republican George W. Bush over his Democratic opponent, then-Vice President Al Gore.
O’Connor, 83, served for 25 years on the bench before retiring in 2006. She was the first woman to serve on the high court, having been appointed in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan.
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