Justice O'Connor: A First Term Appraisal

January 2, 1983

Justice O'Connor: A First Term Appraisal
Type: Law review article
Author: Robert E. Riggs
Source: BYU L. Rev.
Citation: 1983 BYU L. Rev. 1
Notes: Date is approximate

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Justice O'Connor: A First Term Appraisal

Robert E. Riggs*


The appointment of Judge Sandra Day O'Connor to the United States Supreme Court was one of the most widely-ac claimed acts of the new Reagan administration. Not yet six months into his term of office, the President fulfilled a campaign promise to nominate a woman to fill one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in his administration.1 The nomination was praised by women's groups because she was a woman,2 by Republicans because of her sterling political credentials,3 by law yers because of her solid legal background,• by Senators because of her alert, self-possessed responses at the nomination hear ings,11 and even by Democrats because, "If you have to have a Republican on the court... she's about the best we could hope for."6 The only discordant notes came from the far right, where

Professor of Law, Brigham Young University. B.A., 1952, M.A., 1953, University of Arizona; Ph.D., 1955, University of Illinois; LL.B., 1963, University of Arizona. The author wishes to acknowledge the research assistance of Garry B. Wilmore.

N.Y. Times, July 8, 1981, at Al, col. 4; N.Y. Times, Oct. 15, 1980, at Al, coL 1.

N.Y. Times, July 8, 1981, at Al, col. 4; The Nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor of Arizona to Serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States: Hearings Before the Senate Comm. on the Judiciary, 97th Cong., 1st Sess. 278-80 (1981) (statement of Kathy Wilson, National Women's Political

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