Justice O'Connor and the First Amendment 1981–84

January 2, 1986

Justice O'Connor and the First Amendment 1981–84
Type: Law review article
Author: Edward V. Heck & Paula C. Arledge
Source: Pepp. L. Rev.
Citation: 13 Pepp. L. Rev. 993 (1986)
Notes: Date is approximate

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Justice O'Connor and the

First Amendment




With the exception of a presidential election few events can rival the significance for the American legal and political system of the ap pointment of a new Justice to the United States Supreme Court. For the President, a Supreme Court appointment offers an opportunity to reshape the Court "in his own image"1 and perhaps to extend his in fluence far beyond the end of his own tenure in office. 2 For the Court, each change in membership reconstitutes the mix of experi ence, legal :philosophy, and personality that shapes the Court's colle gial interactions. Moreover, at least on those issues marked by close divisions within the Court, a new appointment enhances the possibil ity that the Court will reverse its prior decisions and set out in new directions.3 Thus, it is to be expected that any appointment to the Supreme Court (or even the prospect of such an appointment) will generate intense public interest. Such interest - and the importance of the appointment - is inevitably heightened when the incumbent President was elected on a platform pledging the use of the appoint-

Associate Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University. B.A., 1968 University of the South; M.A., 1971 University of Virginia; Ph.D., 1978 Johns Hopkins University.

Assistant Professor of Government, Nicholls State University. B.A., 1973 Lou isiana Tech University; M.A., 1980; Ph.D., 1983 University

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