Reagan on O’Connor’s Nomination

Vanity Fair has excerpts of President Reagan’s diaries. This entry, from July 6, 1981, is pretty neat:

Mon. July 6 • Nancy’s birthday. Called Judge O’Connor in Ariz. & told her she was my nominee for Supreme Ct. Already the flack is starting & from my own supporters. Rite to Life people say she’s pro-abortion. She declares abortion is personally repugnant to her. I think she’ll make a good Justice.

Does this mean that Reagan didn’t ask O’Connor about her judicial views about abortion (or know them) before nominating her?

[Update: Wow, I’m late to the party on this. See, e.g., Jack Balkin two weeks ago!]

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3 Responses

  1. Scott Moss says:

    It strikes me as likely that Reagan didn’t get the distinction between “X is repugnant” and “it is constitutional to ban X”. Reagan wasn’t exactly a legal scholar, and this quote seems to support the idea that he didn’t grasp the distinction.

  2. “Reagan wasn’t exactly a legal scholar,…”

    exactly the same criticism many of us have for the likes of Justices O’Connor, Blackmun, Kennedy….

  3. Matt says:

    MC said, “exactly the same criticism many of us have for the likes of Justices O’Connor, Blackmun, Kennedy….”

    Which is like Scott Moss’s remark, except that his was, you know, like true and stuff as opposed to stupid.