Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor, 1930–, U.S. lawyer and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1981–2006), b. El Paso, Tex. Graduating from Stanford law school (1952), she returned to practice in her home state of Arizona. There she was a state assistant attorney general (1965–69) and a Republican state senator (1969–74). Appointed a state judge in 1974, she was in 1979 named to the Arizona Court of Appeals. In 1981, President Reagan nominated her to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she became the first woman justice. Except in cases of sexual discrimination and states' powers under the federal system, she generally resisted judicial activism, emerging in the 1990s as a frequent swing vote between more and less conservative blocs. After leaving the Court, she served (2006) as a member of the Iraq Study Group.

See her Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest (with her brother, H. A. Day; 2001), The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice (2003), and Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court (2013); study by J. Biskupic (2005).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: No Insurmountable Hurdles
Bales, Scott.
Stanford Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 6, April 2006
The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions
Leon Friedman; Fred L. Israel.
Chelsea House, vol.5, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Sandra Day O'Connor" begins on p. 1759
Queen of the Center; the Swing Vote: She's a Cowgirl from Sagebrush Country, a Pioneer Who Defied the Odds. the Life and Legacy of a Moderate Justice
Thomas, Evan; Taylor, Stuart, Jr.; Murr, Andrew; Wingert, Pat; Clift, Eleanor; Meadows, Susannah; Romano, Andrew; Gude, Karl.
Newsweek, July 11, 2005
Lessons from Working for Sandra Day O'Connor
Syverud, Kent D.
Stanford Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 6, April 2006
Justices and Presidents: A Political History of Appointments to the Supreme Court
Henry J. Abraham.
Oxford University Press, 1992 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Sandra Day O'Connor begins on p. 339
Judges on Judging: Views from the Bench
David M. O'Brien.
Chatham House Publishers, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 26 "Trends in the Relationship between the Federal and State Courts" by Sandra Day O'Connor
The States' Champion: Sandra Day O'Connor Was an Eloquent Defender of the States' Role in Our Federal System
Savage, David G.
State Legislatures, Vol. 31, No. 8, September 2005
Justice O'Connor's Dilemma: The Baseline Question
Sherry, Suzanna.
William and Mary Law Review, Vol. 39, No. 3, February 1998
Justice O'connor and the "Right to Die": Constitutional Promises Unfulfilled
Allen, Michael P.
The William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, February 2006
The Federalism Decisions of Justices Rehnquist and O'Connor: Is Half a Loaf Enough?
Epstein, Richard A.
Stanford Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 6, April 2006
Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000
Alan M. Dershowitz.
Oxford University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Justice O'Connor" begins on p. 132
Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform
Derrick Bell.
Oxford University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Justice O'Connor and Interest-Convergence" begins on p. 149
Judicial Entrepreneurship: The Role of the Judge in the Marketplace of Ideas
Wayne V. McIntosh; Cynthia L. Cates.
Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Sandra Day O'Connor: The Soft Selling of the Quarantee Clause"
The Abortion Controversy: A Documentary History
Eva R. Rubin.
Greenwood Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Document 80: Testimony of Sandra Day O'Connor before the Senate Judiciary Committee: Hearings on Her Nomination to Be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, 1981" begins on p. 248
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