For all the controversies of his two terms in office (and there were plenty), Supreme Court appointments could end up being the key aspect of George W. Bush‘s legacy.
Replacing William Rehnquist with John Roberts as Chief Justice and Sandra Day O’Connor with Samuel Alito were huge political successes, with long-term ramifications. So far, the two have proven reliable and intellectual visionaries of conservative principles.
The court, which delivered the celebrated Citizens United verdict– and may well overturn the individual mandate within ObamaCare (stay tuned for that) — is very much a product of the Bush era.
The appointment and confirmation of Roberts and Alito is an impressive legacy — regardless of his how conservatives critics might view Bush 43’s other accomplishments. For this reason alone, it might be that Bush ends up having done as much to advance the cause of limited-government conservatism as other, more celebrated, conservative presidents.