While the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor seems to have caught many by surprise, initial media coverage indicates that groups to the left and right are already gearing up for what could be a heated political battle.
For the first time in more than a decade, a Supreme Court seat is open, and President Bush's choice of successor could reshape the ideological balance of the court. Activists on both sides say they plan to spend millions in an effort to influence that choice.
Most frequent messages
1. O'Connor was the court's main swing vote in 5-4 decisions
2. Both sides see the vacancy as Bush's chance to significantly shift the court to the right
3. Liberals fear the appointment of a "right wing" judge will lead to reversal of Roe v. Wade
4. Evangelical conservatives will deem a "mainstream" judge nod as a betrayal by Bush
5. A ferocious Senate battle is expected
Based on analysis of major-market news coverage appearing from June 30-July 6, 2005
Evaluation and analysis by Delahaye