O’Connor Retired from Court, Not Discourse
By Joan Biskupic
September 9, 2010
“Judicial elections are not going to go away, not in our lifetime,” says Hofstra University law professor James Sample, who has worked with O’Connor to encourage state changes. “But she has been part of progress toward more incremental reform.”
He cites moves in Wisconsin to finance elections with public funds and in Michigan to stiffen rules for when judges sit out cases because of an appearance of a conflict or impropriety.
“She has changed the nature of the debate,” he says, “so that people from all different ideological perspectives take judicial independence more seriously.”