Hanging in the Balance

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Recently retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor is a cool and sober Arizona ranch-raised Republican. And the remarks the first woman on the high court made this month in Washington sound for all the world like the timeless warnings of America's founding fathers: defend the balance of powers, always watch out for tyranny.

But these are unusual times in Washington. A Congress lining up behind a president claiming great powers. A court under intense fire, even death threats.

When O'Connor spoke of dictatorship, even afar, heads turned. "Avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings," she said.

Hear about Washington's balance of powers, and Sandra Day O'Connor's warnings.


Steven Salzburg, Professor of Law at George Washington Law School

Stuart Taylor, Opinion columnist for National Journal and contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, has been covering the Supreme Court for more than 20 years

Laurie Levenson, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School.

This program aired on March 23, 2006.


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