The Tipping Point?

Sandra Day O'Connor's surprise resignation unleashes a battle over whether the high court will gain a new swing vote or a solid-right identity

Even in Washington, a city full of leaks, there are some secrets you can keep from the President. Last Thursday, when most of the city was focused on the possibility that Chief Justice William Rehnquist was about to resign from the Supreme Court, White House counsel Harriet Miers got a call from Pamela Talkin, head marshal at the Supreme Court, who told her that a sealed letter from the court would be delivered to the White House the next morning. Talkin did not say what would be in it. But Miers, like everyone else, knew that the resignation of a Justice...

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