Supreme Court Justice O'Connor Retires

Next Justice will play crucial role in nation's highest court


Cat Lazaroff or Glenn Sugameli, 202-667-4500

The following is a statement by Earthjustice Executive Director Buck Parker: “Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement provides President Bush with an opportunity to select a new justice who will create a lasting legacy of strong environmental protections.

“The President’s decision on whom to nominate to the Supreme Court, and the Senate’s independent judgment on whom to confirm, will likely determine the fate of basic environmental safeguards for decades to come. When agency officials allow corporations to illegally pollute the air we breathe, or when industry claims that clean water protections are unconstitutional, Earthjustice relies on fair and independent justices to apply, enforce, and uphold the laws that safeguard our environment.

“President Bush has the opportunity to fill the Supreme Court and other judicial vacancies in a way that honors the Senate’s constitutional advise-and-consent role in the selection of lifetime federal judges. Earthjustice urges the President to engage in genuine bipartisan consultation with Senators before nominating individuals to our third branch of government: the independent judiciary that interprets the Constitution and laws of the United States.

“President Bush has the responsibility to appoint judges who have a record that shows respect and sensitivity to environmental protections. Rather than attempt to pursue an ideological agenda through the courts, the President should reach out and select nominees who will serve the best interests of all Americans.”


Read more about the importance of the Supreme Court to environmental protections.

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.