By Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Interview in State Legislatures magazine
January 2, 2014
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FOR THE RECORD Sandra Day O'Connor "My time as a state legislator was a wonderful experience." A former two-term Arizona state senator, Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. She became the first woman Supreme Court Justice and one of the most influential members of the court who was often the swing vote. She retired from the Court in 2006 and turned her energy to writing and civic education. Today, she is the author of five books, including Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court, published this year. President Obama honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. State Legislatures: What do you think the average reader will be most surprised to learn from your new book, Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court? Justice O'Connor: I think people generally don't know that for a long time in the Court's history, the justices had to ride the circuit. They had to go around the country and sit on cases. And they weren't sitting in Washington, D.C, all the time as they are now. That was extremely challenging for the justices. None of them liked it, and it was very burdensome. SL: When you were doing the research for your book, did you wonder how the Court survived with all the things that went on? Justice O'Connor: It had to survive. We had to have a Supreme Court. But the challenges in those days were so substantial that