Celebrating Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

In Arizona, September 25 is Sandra Day O’Connor Day, celebrating the day she was sworn in as the first female Supreme Court Justice. On a few occasions, I’ve met Justice O’Connor, work with her civic education organization, iCivics, and find her to be the most incredible women I’ve had the opportunity to study. The latest book, FirstSandra Day O’Connor by Evan Thomas, has been my favorite, probably because I’ve also gotten to listen to him and Justice O’Connor’s sons talk about writing the book and about her.

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Jean Marcellino

Young women today often have very little appreciation for the real battles that took place to get women where they are today in this country. I don’t know how much history young women today know about those battles.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

This year, with the celebration of the century of the 19th Amendment and the Democratic candidate Joe Biden promising to put a black woman on the High Court, this day is an excellent reminder of how the look of the Court has changed over the last 244 years.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was interviewed by Jan Smith, for the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
Sandra Day O’Connor on Leaving the Supreme Court and civic education

The nice thing about celebrating Justice O’Connor is that it can be easy. I love discussing her as a model for civic principles in her quest to further civic education in Arizona and the US as a whole. Here is a quick lesson to help you navigate this day!

“Despite the encouraging and wonderful gains and the changes for women which have occurred in my lifetime, there is still room to advance and to promote correction of the remaining deficiencies and imbalances.”

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

Lastly: here is a quick podcast on Justice O’Connor and her work with iCivics.

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