Today Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court. O'Connor, appointed in 1981, was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court and became known as the court's "swing voter." This marks the first time in 11 years that there has been an open seat on the bench and is Bush's first opportunity to nominate a justice. Though much of the speculation has centered on Chief Justice William Rehnquist's retirement, the prospective nominees for O'Connor's seat are similar. Last week, Emily Bazelon and David Newman compiled a shortlist of the eight candidates most likely to fill a vacancy on the bench.