The Rugged Feminism of Sandra Day O'Connor

January 1, 1999

The Rugged Feminism of Sandra Day O'Connor
Type: Law review article
Author: Judith Olans Brown Wendy E. Parmet & Mary E. O'Connell
Source: Ind. L. Rev.
Citation: 32 Ind. L. Rev. 1219 (1999)
Notes: Date is approximate

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"Is she or isn't she?" Since Sandra Day O'Connor's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1981, scholars have been unable to resist debating the existence and/or extent of her feminist credentials.• Although lively at times, ultimately this discussion is sterile. Focusing on whether Justice O'Connor is a "true" feminist inevitably overemphasizes a particular delineation of feminist orthodoxy2 and neglects the nature of her contributions to issues that matter to women.3 In our view the more significant question is the one less often asked: What does Sandra Day O'Connor do when issues that affect the lives of women come before her? Does her gender inform her approach to what Professor

Professor Emerita, Northeastern University School of Law. A.B., 1962, Mt. Holyoke College; LL.B., 1965, Boston College Law School. We thank our colleagues, Jane Scarborough and Jonathan Lipson, for thoughtful comments on an earlier draft of this Article. We are also grateful for the efficient and effective help of librarian Kim Dulin and the excellent research assistance of students Brigitte Amiri, Aliza Kaplan, and Stephanie Wingfield of Northeastern University School of Law.

Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law. A.B., 1979, Cornell University; J.D., 1982, Harvard Law School.

Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law. B.A., 1970, Brandeis University; J.D.,

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