At the time of the OConnor nomination in 1981, George Will wrote:
Recent Republican presidents have been notably incompetent at selecting Justices faithful to the presidents professed judicial values. Justices Warren, Brennan, Blackmun and Stevens have been among the, well, surprises. . . That [OConnor] supported Reagan against Gerald Ford in 1976 may prove to Reagan her civic virtue, but it reveals little about how she will handle the "equal protection" clause. Having shown little inclination toward jurisprudential theory, she is unlikely to supply what this Court most needs.
There were other voices at the time (including Terry Eastland) who doubted that OConnor would turn out to be a good selection, even though she was vetted at the Justice Department by none other than Kenneth Starr. Eastland was concerned that “O’Connor’s views on the Constitution and her understanding of judicial review are largely unknown.”
This is why it is essential that President Bush nominate someone that the Left regards as an "extremist," as only an "extremist" can be relied upon to defend the Constitution rather than regard it as a plaything for social engineering.