Sandra Day O'Connor

Good Sense, Swing Vote

Despite the divisiveness of political discourse these days, most sensible Americans share common ground on most issues. They realize that on a variety of controversies--abortion, affirmative action, religion in public life--there are legitimate values that compete and must be pragmatically balanced.

For more than three decades, the Supreme Court has been able to define this common ground. Its complex process of getting there through split decisions based on opinions that concur and dissent in parts can seem magical. In fact, that magic has a human face to it: that of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. By being the practical-minded swing vote...

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