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Sandra Day O'Connor

Seismic tremors emanating from the nation's capital. With everyone expecting the Chief Justice to retire at the end of this recent term, Justice O'Connor's announcement took everyone by surprise and changes the stakes considerably. Replacing Rehnquist with another conservative--even if Scalia were anointed the new chief--would not fundamentally affect the ideological balance of the High Court. But given O'Connor's position as a swing voter, the Court's future is now very much in the balance depending on who her replacement is.


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