Whizzer of Odd, indeed

One of the more curious moments at last week's Democratic debate was Bill Richardson's answer when asked by moderator Brian Williams to name his model Supreme Court justice:

"GOV. RICHARDSON: It would be Justice Whizzer White.

"MR. WILLIAMS: How about someone who is among the living? (Laughter.)

"GOV. RICHARDSON: It would be -- and in this particular case, Judge Ginsburg, who said that this was an erosion of a woman's right to choose and degraded the ability of a woman to protect herself health-wise."

So Richardson's second choice is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the dissenter in this month's partial-birth abortion case, who fears the court has now done serious damage to the right to an abortion first recognized in Roe v. Wade. But Richardson's first choice is Byron White, one of only two dissenters in . . . Roe v. Wade. [Roe was decided with another case, Doe v. Bolton, where White filed a dissent covering both cases. He also joined then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist's dissent written in Roe.]

More in this post, from which the title to this one is taken.

UPDATE: Ginsburg succeeded White on the court -- so they are linked in that sense. And, for what it's worth, when Ginsburg spoke in Colorado in White's honor, she, too, expressed admiration. From a local account of the speech:

"Before she was appointed as White's successor, Ginsburg argued six sex discrimination cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. She won five of the cases, each significantly advancing women's rights. 'I would have won all six of them if it had been up to White,' Ginsburg said."