Justice O’Connor: Use My Voice, But Not Like That

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor appears to be for it before she was against it when it comes to a recording she made in support of a controversial Nevada ballot measure.

O'Connor recorded a message supporting a move to change the way judges are appointed in the Silver State. She says that the interests of the public would be better served by having the governor appoint judges who would then face retention elections, rather than the direct election system used now.

However, O'Connor says that she did not authorize the campaign to use her voice in robocalls to voters, some of which were accidentally placed at 1 a.m. Monday.

"I did not authorize the use of my recorded statement as part of automated telephone calls to Nevada residents, and I regret that the statement was used in this way," O'Connor said in a statement.

That didn't go over well with Nevadans for Qualified Judges, the group sponsoring the ballot initiative. "The campaign was given permission to use Justice O'Connor's recorded message," said spokeswoman Nicole Willis-Grimes in a statement, "It was the campaign's understanding that her recorded message could be utilized in all traditional messaging for the campaign."

An extra layer of awkward: O'Connor serves as honorary chairperson for the group.

Some legal scholars are calling on her to retire from judging cases if she continues to advocate for political causes.  O'Connor takes issue with that opinion saying, "I view my efforts in support of judicial reform as consistent with the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges."

O'Connor most recently served on a panel of federal appeals court judges that struck down part of an Arizona law requiring voters to prove their citizenship before registering to vote.