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Release date: Nov. 8, 2000
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Assistant Director, 404-727-0644, or

Sandra Day O'Connor To Give Rosalynn Carter Distinguished Lecture At Emory Nov. 13

WHO: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, "Going Where Few Women Have Gone Before"
WHAT: Emory's Rosalynn Carter Distinguished Lecture in Public Policy
WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, 2000
WHERE: Glenn Memorial Auditorium, 1652 N. Decatur Rd., Emory.
COST: Free and open to the public. For information, call 404-727-0096. Parking is available in the Fishburne parking deck. A map is available on-line at

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will deliver the 2000 Rosalynn Carter Distinguished Lecture in Public Policy at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13 in Glenn Memorial Auditorium. Her lecture is titled "Going Where Few Women Have Gone Before." The lecture is free and open to the public. (The event originally was scheduled for January, but O'Connor was prevented from getting to Atlanta due to inclement weather in Washington.)

O'Connor is a fitting speaker for the annual lecture by women who have played significant roles in shaping public policy. Her 1981 appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court by then-President Ronald Reagan made her the first female justice of the nation's highest court.

The road to success was not easy, however. After finishing third in her Stanford University Law School class, service as a deputy county attorney in California, and work as a civilian lawyer for the Quartermaster Corps, O'Connor was unable to find work with an Arizona law firm because of her gender, according to the National Women's Hall of Fame. "Rather than retreat, she established her own successful law practice--and in 1965 was named assistant attorney general for the State of Arizona." She was appointed to the Arizona State Senate in 1969, and was subsequently elected for two, two-year terms, serving as senate majority leader in her last term. In 1975 she was elected to the Maricopa County Superior Court, and four years later to the Arizona Court of Appeals.

"Throughout her service on the U.S. Supreme Court, O'Connor has proven to be a thoughtful jurist," according to the National Women's Hall of Fame. "She has, forever, shattered the idea that women were not qualified to serve on the nation's highest court--and by her role model, further opened the door for women at all levels of the legal profession."

In addition to being part of the Rosalynn Carter Programs in Public Policy at Emory's Institute for Women's Studies, O'Connor's lecture is part of Emory's Year of Reconciliation. O'Connor's position entails considerations of reconciliation on a daily basis--most obviously in weighing evidence and precedents in the cases she hears.

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has been a distinguished fellow of the Emory Institute for Women’s Studies since 1989, and has worked to establish the Rosalynn Carter Programs in Public Policy. Past lecturers in this series include U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, former NAACP head Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, and Sarah Weddington, who successfully argued the landmark Roe v. Wade case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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