Sandra Day O'Connor

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"I was asked in my Senate confirmation hearing about how I'd like to be remembered. I called it the tombstone question. And I said, "I hope the tombstone might read 'here lies a good judge.'"


Sandra Day O'Connor
PBS Online NewsHour Interview, June 9, 2003

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Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated by President Ronald Reagan as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on July 7, 1981; was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 22, 1981; and took oath of office on September 25, 1981. Justice O'Connor was the first female on "the high court." On July 1, 2005, she notified the President that she will retire "effective upon the nomination and confirmation of my successor."

Sandra is married to John Jay O'Connor III. [1]

Biography

  • Birthdate - March 26, 1930
  • Birthplace - El Paso, Texas

Education

  • 1950 - Stanford University; B.A. in Economics - magna cum laude
  • 1952 - Stanford Law School; LL.B.
    • Completed three year course in two years
    • Third in her graduating class (William H. Rehnquist was first that year)
    • Stanford Law Review ; Board of Editors
    • Order of the Coif Legal Society; member

Professional History

  • 1952-53 - Deputy County Attorney: San Mateo County, California
  • 1954-57 - Quartermaster's Market Center, Frankfurt, Germany; Civilian Attorney
  • 1958-60 - Private Practice
  • 1965-69 - Assistant Attorney General; Arizona
  • 1969-74 - Arizona State Senate
  • 1974 - Arizona State Senate Majority (first female Republican majority leader in the country)
  • 1975-79 - Maricopa County Superior Court Judge (elected)
  • 1979-81 - Arizona Court of Appeals (appointed; Gov. Bruce Babbitt)
  • 1981 - present - Associate Supreme Court Justice (appointed; Ronald Reagan)

Civic and other Associations

  • 1968-74 & 1976-81 - The Heard Museum; member and President
  • 1969-75 - Arizona Academy; member and secretary
  • 1974-78 - Phoenix Historical Society; Board of Directors
  • 1975 -79 - Board of Junior Achievement, Arizona
  • 1975-81 - Salvation Army Advisory Board; member
  • 1976-81 - Stanford University, Board of Trustees
  • 1977- 81 - Maricopa County National Conference of Christians and Jews; Advisory Board and Vice President
  • 1978-81 - Soroptimist Club of Phoenix; member and Vice President
  • 1981 - Liaison Committee on Medical Education; member
  • 1981 - Board of Visitors of Arizona State University Law School; member
  • 1981-present - National Board of the Smithsonian Associates; member

Legal Professional Organization Memberships

  • National Association of Women Judges
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Arizona
  • State Bar of California
  • Arizona Judges' Association
  • Arizona Women Lawyers' Association
  • Maricopa County Bar Association
  • Executive Council, American Society of International Law

Sources:

Quotes

  • James Dobson: O'Connor's resignation is "a watershed moment in American history: the resignation of a swing-vote justice on the Supreme Court and the opportunity to change the Court's direction. ... The rulings by the Court this June, particularly the schizophrenic decisions on the Ten Commandments cases, ... have once again demonstrated the desperate need for justices who will interpret the Constitution as it was written, not as the latest fads of legal theorists." [1]

Resources and articles

References

  1. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to deliver commencement address, Stanford Report, March 10, 2004.
  2. Directors, Academy of Political Science, accessed April 15, 2008.
  3. About, World Justice Project, accessed April 27, 2008.
  4. Cosmos Club Award Recipients, Cosmos Club Foundation, accessed August 27, 2008.
  5. Directors, National Museum of Natural History, accessed October 5, 2008.
  6. Trustees, Council for America's First Freedom, accessed January 30, 2009.
  7. Board, Friends of the National Arboretum, accessed January 28, 2011.

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Articles & Commentary