Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Wednesday said she disagrees with Republicans who want to wait to appoint a new justice until after the presidential election.
“I don’t agree,” she said in an interview with Fox 10 Phoenix of Republicans who want to delay the appointment. “I think we need somebody there now to do the job, and let’s get on with it.”
O’Connor, who was appointed to the bench in 1981 by former President Ronald Reagan, said she wishes “the president well as he makes choices and goes down that line.”
“Well, you just have to pick the best person you can under the circumstances under the appointing authority,” she added. “You must do — and it’s an important position and one that we should care about as a nation and as a people.”
A pair of lawyers writing in The Baltimore Sun argued President Obama should appoint O’Connor to the court in order to bridge the partisan divide over filling the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last weekend.
Although she was appointed by a Republican, O’Connor was considered a disappointment by many conservatives.
Along with fellow Reagan appointee Justice Anthony Kennedy, she voted in the landmark 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey to affirm the right to abortion.