Archive for Tuesday, April 13, 2010

O’Connor talks about her roots

April 13, 2010


O'Connor speaks at Dole Institute

The retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor spoke to an invitation-only crowd Monday at the Dole Institute on the KU campus. Read the story here.

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke Monday in Lawrence on a range of topics. Included are some additional thoughts from her chat with U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Deanell Tacha:

“Barely one-third of Americans can even name the three branches of government, much less say what they do. That’s frightening.”

— O’Connor, talking about her reasons behind promoting civics education. She has set up a Web site,, for middle school students and their teachers to learn civics.

“There was more press in attendance at my Senate confirmation hearings than had been present at the Watergate hearings.”

— O’Connor, adding that the process is “miserable” for the nominee, though senators seem to love it.

“We grew up in a place so remote, we had no telephone until I was a sophomore in college.”

— O’Connor, talking about growing up on the Lazy B ranch in Arizona. Her father eventually built a telephone line that connected to the house.

“The law firms in those days wouldn’t hire a woman lawyer.”

— O’Connor, who went on to add that at her first job as a lawyer she volunteered to work for no pay for a few months, and shared office space with a secretary.

“The best arguments I ever heard at the court were made by (now Chief Justice) John Roberts.”

— O’Connor, who encouraged law students to listen to audio recordings of his arguments.

“He established the first church in what became Wichita.”

— O’Connor, talking about her great-grandfather, who was a homesteader near Wichita.


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