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"CBC Salutes Supreme Court Justice O'Connor for Her Years of Service and Calls on President Bush to Seek Consensus on Potential Court Nominees"

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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Melvin L. Watt (D-NC), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement on the retirement of Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor:

"The Congressional Black Caucus applauds Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor for her many years of service on the United States Supreme Court and for shattering the "glass ceiling" to serve as the first woman ever to serve on the court. We thank her for her years of public serve and wish her the very best in her retirement.

"With the vacancy on the nation's highest court created by Justice O'Connor's retirement, the President once again has an opportunity to unite our country and to seek consensus across partisan lines by consulting with members of the Senate, the House and people of all political and ideological persuasions. The President must nominate someone who cares about how the law affects all Americans, not just about ideology.

"The Congressional Black Caucus reminds President Bush of the critical role the Supreme Court has played in reaffirming the constitutional protections guaranteed to every citizen of the United States, and we encourage the President to remember that his nomination will be to the United States Supreme Court, not the Democratic or Republican Supreme Court, nor the liberal or conservative Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court of the United States.

"We strongly urge the highest level of consultation and the nomination of someone committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of all Americans."

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