NY Times: Chief Justice Extols Legacy of Sandra Day O’Connor

Apr 5, 2024Latest News

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor after her swearing-in in 1981.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. delivered a fond tribute to former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Thursday, celebrating her legacy as the first woman on the Supreme Court and her commitment to advancing civics and civility after her retirement.

During an award ceremony at Duke University to recognize her contribution to civics education, Chief Justice Roberts reiterated his admiration of his former colleague, a crucial swing justice who was often referred to as the most powerful woman in America. He eulogized her in December shortly after her death at 93.

“Sandra Day O’Connor expanded the public image of what it meant to look like a judge,” he said. “She sounded the alarm about the growing lack of appreciation of what it means to be a citizen.”

For her work in civics education, she was recognized on Thursday with the Bolch Prize for the Rule of Law, an award that has often been given to honor judges, including former Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, for lifetime achievements. The award was accepted by her son Scott O’Connor.

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