Former Supreme Court Justice to Speak at TU on June 1

Friday, May 11, 2007

Published on 5/11/07

One of the most influential women in America will share insights into her groundbreaking career in law and public service during a June 1 appearance at The University of Tulsa.

Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the first woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, will speak at 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 1 in the Great Hall of TU’s Allen Chapman Activity Center. During the event, O’Connor will participate in a moderated conversation with Judge Robert H. Henry of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. A panel of TU faculty and students will join in the event.

The event, sponsored by the TU College of Law, is free and open to the public.

O’Connor made headlines in 1981 when President Ronald Reagan appointed her as the first woman to the U.S. Supreme Court. She retired in 2006 following nearly 25 years of service on the nation’s highest court where she held key swing votes in decisions regarding abortion, separation of church and state, and affirmative action. Because of her groundbreaking status, she has been one of the most recognized names associated with the Supreme Court and she has been cited as one of America’s most respected and powerful women.

Prior to joining the Supreme Court, O’Connor had a distinguished career in public service, where she served in all three branches of government in her native Arizona. In 1965, she was named assistant state attorney general. Four years later, she was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Arizona state senate and subsequently was re-elected twice. During her last term, she was named the senate majority leader – the first woman to hold such a position in the United States. In 1975, she was elected to the Maricopa County Superior Court and later the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Following her retirement from the Supreme Court, O’Connor has continued in public service, including serving as a member of the Iraq Study Commission, a bipartisan group requested by Congress to assess the current and prospective situation in Iraq and the surrounding region. She is currently the Chancellor of the College of William and Mary.

The panelists scheduled to participate in the moderated discussion are TU law professors Lyn Entzeroth, Judith Royster and Tamara Piety, who will be joined by Misty Cooper Watt, a third-year law student and editor in chief of TU’s Tulsa Law Review.

For more information, contact Lynn Miller at (918) 631-2471 or lynn-miller@utulsa.edu.