Now it will get bad. Because as much damage as Bush and Congress have done, it has primarily been in the economic realm where the Supreme Court has promised for 70 years to limit involvement (with only a blip a few years ago indicating otherwise).
But thanks to a center-right Supreme Court, they haven’t been able to complete unwind the social rules of the 20th century. This Court, for all its “constitution in exile” vitriol has managed to uphold abortion rights, affirmative action, some gay rights, and put humane limits on the death penalty.
At least a few of those decisions depended on Justice O’Connor.
This is an unfortunate retirement. You could have replaced Justice Rehnquist with Mussolini and it wouldn’t have upset the balance on the court. But this, this means a conservative majoirty except for what ever biography-padding issues Justice Homer Kennedy feels like advocating this year.