September 18, 2000
Volume 53, No. 4
O'Connor discusses groundbreaking paths
By Karen Poremski
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will give the Emory Institute for Women's Studies Rosalynn Carter Distinguished Lecture in Public Policy on Nov.13 at 8 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium. O'Connor will speak on "Going Where Few Women Have Gone Before." Her lecture is free and open to the public.
O'Connor's position entails considerations of reconciliation on a daily basis-most obviously in weighing evidence and precedents in the cases she hears as a judge in the highest court of the nation. But as a jurist who is a woman, O'Connor's life has demanded the ability to negotiate conflicting interests and to find creative solutions to opposition as well.
Although she graduated third in her law class at Stanford University in 1952, she nevertheless found it difficult to overcome the reluctance of law firms to hire a female attorney.
Undaunted, she instead established her own practice and subsequently joined the world of politics as an assistant attorney general in Arizona, an Arizona state senator, and elected judge. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she took the oath of office in 1981, but not without controversy. While feminists hailed the appointment of the first woman to the Supreme Court, they did not all rejoice in her decisions.
The Rosalynn Carter Distinguished Lecture in Public Policy is one of the events that the Emory Institute for Women's Studies is sponsoring to coincide with Emory's theme of reconciliation. The Women's Studies Colloquium Series for Fall 2000 features seven meetings around the topic "Reconciling Women, Public Policy, and the Law." These meetings are also free and open to the public.
For more information about the lecture, colloquium series, and other events, check the website of the Emory Institute for Women's Studies at www.emory.edu/WOMENS_STUDIES.