O'Connor Retires From Supreme Court

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

"Her wisdom, intellect, and humility have earned her deep respect from colleagues, even those who oppose her," said Senator Bill Frist.

"She was a careful and thoughtful and highly respected member of the court - a wise judge," said Senator Ted Kennedy.

Appointed by Ronald Reagan as the first woman on the Court, O'Connor has served for 24 years. In a statement, O'Connor said she's 75 years old and she wants to spend more time with her family.

"She has more energy than anyone I've ever known: retirement won't slow her down," said Ann Day, O'Connor's sister.

During her tenure, O'Connor became known as a centrist who served as the swing vote on a number of high profile decisions, including abortion, the death penalty, and civil rights. When asked at her Senate Confirmation hearings how she's like to be remembered, she said on her tombstone she'd like the words: "Here lies a Good Judge."

"I'm proud to know her," said President Bush.

Bush says he'll name a successor in a timely manner, but not until he returns from a European trip on July 8, 2005. Bush promises he'll consult with both parties about his selection.

"The nation also deserves a dignified process of confirmation in the United States Senate, characterized by fair treatment, a fair hearing and a fair vote," said Bush.

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