Sandra Day O'Connor
"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
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."
- Trustee, Rockefeller Foundation
- Honorary Member, Academy of Political Science 
- Honorary Chair, World Justice Project 
- Winner of the 1998 Cosmos Club Award 
- Director, National Museum of Natural History 
- National Honorary Advisory Council, Council for America's First Freedom 
- Honorary Board Member, Friends of the National Arboretum 
- Former Director, Foundation for the Future (DEMOCRACY)
- Birthdate - March 26, 1930
- Birthplace - El Paso, Texas
- 1950 - Stanford University; B.A. in Economics - magna cum laude
- 1952 - Stanford Law School; LL.B.
- 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
- Cornell University; Legal Information Institute, Sandra Day O'Connor Biography
- Federal Judicial Center, Judges of the Federal Courts; Sandra Day O'Connor
- Find Law, Sandra Day O'Connor
- PBS Online News Hour, Supreme Court Watch-O'Connor
- 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." 
Resources and articles
- Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to deliver commencement address, Stanford Report, March 10, 2004.
- Directors, Academy of Political Science, accessed April 15, 2008.
- About, World Justice Project, accessed April 27, 2008.
- Cosmos Club Award Recipients, Cosmos Club Foundation, accessed August 27, 2008.
- Directors, National Museum of Natural History, accessed October 5, 2008.
- Trustees, Council for America's First Freedom, accessed January 30, 2009.
- Board, Friends of the National Arboretum, accessed January 28, 2011.
- Sandra Day O'Connor, Cornell profile.
- Sandra Day O'Connor at infoplease.com.
- Supreme Court Watch: Sandra Day O'Connor, Associate Justice, PBS Online NewsHour website.
- Gwen Ifill, "The Lazy B,", PBS Online NewsHour, February 1, 2002
- Jan Crawford Greenburg, "The Majesty of the Law," PBS Online NewsHour, June 9, 2003.
- Text of Retirement Letter to President Bush, July 1, 2005; posted by The Raw Story.
- Email, July 1, 2005, from Justice Clarence Thomas's wife (Virginia Thomas) to Heritage Foundation staff leaked news; posted by The Raw Story.
Video & Audio Links
- "Former Justice Nominee Bork blasts O'Connor's Legacy." Video link posted by Crooks and Liars, July 1, 2005.
Articles & Commentary
- Edward S. Herman, "Whitewashing Sandra Day O'Connor: Philly Inquirer Watch", Counterpunch, July 11, 2003.
- Richard W. Stevenson and Linda Greenhouse, "O'Connor, First Woman on High Court, Resigns After 24 Years," New York Times, July 1, 2005.
- Gina Holland, "O'Connor to Retire From Supreme Court," Associated Press, July 1, 2005: "O'Connor's appointment in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan, quickly confirmed by the Senate, ended 191 years of male exclusivity on the high court."
- David Espo, "O'Connor Retires From Supreme Court," Associated Press, July 1, 2005.
- "Harry Reid's statement about O'Connor retirement," July 1, 2005; posted by AMERICAblog.
- "O'Connor Kept Retirement Plans Secret," Yahoo!, July 1, 2005.
- John Nichols, "After O'Connor," The Nation, July 1, 2005; also posted at Common Dreams. Scroll down page to article. "People for the American Way has compiled a list of 5-4 rulings in which Sandra Day O'Connor was the decisive justice," some of which are listed in the article.
- "Blogger Conference Call With Sen. Kennedy Re: O'Connor Retirement," TalkLeft.com, July 1, 2005.
- Pete Winn, "Justice O'Connor Retires; Battle over Swing-Vote Lies Ahead," CitizenLink/Focus on the Family, July 1, 2005.
- Terence Hunt, "Bush Says He'll Pick Replacement Quickly," Associated Press, July 1, 2005.
- Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, "It's Put Up or Shut Up Time for Bush and the Democrats," CounterPunch, July 1, 2005.
- "'Sandra Day O'Connor is Gone – Thank God!' States Reverend Flip Benham, Director of Operation Save America/Operation Rescue, Christian Communication Network, July 1, 2005.
- "Initial coverage of O'Connor retirement on CNN & Fox News offered no commentary from Democrats," Media Matters for America, July 1, 2005: "In their initial coverage of the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, both CNN and Fox News presented commentary from a host of conservative and Republican voices but no commentary from progressives or Democrats."
- Claire Cooper, "Pragmatism called driving force behind justice's rulings", Sacremento Bee, July 2, 2005.
- Peter Wallsten, "If Ax Falls on Roe, It May Also Split GOP," Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2005.
- Walter Brasch, "...And a justice for all," The Smirking Chimp, July 5, 2005.
- Peter Schmidt, "Justice O'Connor, Author of Key Rulings in Higher-Education Cases, Announces Retirement From Supreme Court", The Chronicle of Higher Education, Friday, July 1, 2005
- David Glenn, "The Politics of Retirement From the Supreme Court: Reflections of a Court Watcher", The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1, 2005
- Mark Rahdert and Lawrence White, "Opinion: The Court Begins to Shift", The Chronicle of Higher Education, Friday, July 1, 2005