Sandra Day O'Connor — Woman, Lawyer, Justice: Her First Four Terms on the Supreme Court

January 1, 1986

Sandra Day O'Connor — Woman, Lawyer, Justice: Her First Four Terms on the Supreme Court
Type: Law review article
Author: Barbara C. Shea
Source: UMKC L. Rev.
Citation: 55 UMKC L. Rev. 1 (1986)
Notes: Date is approximate

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Sandra Day O'Connor - Woman, Lawyer, Justice: Her First Four Terms on the Supreme Court

Barbara C.S. Shea•



Four short years ago, few people outside of Arizona had ever heard of San dra Day O'Connor. When President Ronald Reagan nominated her to be the first woman Justice on the Supreme Court in July of 1981, she was catapulted from the relative obscurity of an Arizona Appellate Court judgeship into na tional prominence.1 Almost overnight, her name became a household word.

In offering her nomination to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Pot ter Stewart,2 Reagan accomplished several political objectives in one swift move. He appeased women's rights groups who were unhappy with his failure to appoint more women to high-level government positions.8 He disavowed in deed, if not in word, the plank of the Republican National Party in the previ-

*Associated with White & Case, New York City; B.A., 1961, Trinity College; M.A., 1980, Fair field University; J.D., 1985, University of Bridgeport School of Law. The author gratefully ac knowledges the contribution of the UMKC Law Review staff.

Editor's Note: This Article was written before the recent change in composition on the Su preme Court. On September 19, 1986, the Senate approved the appointment of William Rehnquist as Chief Justice, and of Antonin Scalia as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. THE WEEK IN CoNGREss-CoNGRESSIONAL INDEX, at 1 (CCH Sept. 19, 1986). There has been much

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