“I think we need somebody, there, now, to do the job, and let’s get on with it,” said O’Connor, splitting with Republicans who have advocated that the president hold off on filling the seat until the next president is in the White House.
Though O’Connor, a Reagan appointee, said “it is unfortunate” that a vacancy was created in an election year, the process should not be stalled as a result.
“We just have to pick the person you can under the circumstances as the appointing the authority must do,” she said. "And it’s an important position and one that we should care about as a nation and as a people and I wish that the president will as he makes choices and goes down that line."
O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981, retired from the bench in 2006 to care for her ailing husband.