Social Media Subcommittee11/27/2023
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee12/12/2023
The National Association for Court Management remembers the life of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who passed away on Friday December 1, 2023.
Justice O’Connor was a pioneer and trailblazer as a jurist and as an educator upon retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice O’Connor was nominated to U.S. Supreme Court in 1981 by then President Ronald Reagan. Her nomination received unanimous approval 99-0 a feat not equaled since. Justice O’Connor was often referred to as the “swing vote” for many decisions of the Court. She provided a much-needed moderate balance to the Court during her 25 years on the highest bench in the nation.
Upon retiring from the Court in 2006, she devoted many hours over the next 12 years to education of the next generation(s) of citizens by providing valuable learning tools for elementary and middle school aged students on their country’s government, and in particular, its courts. She founded the I-Civics online program for grade schoolteachers to use in the classroom. She often stated that “The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned by each new generation.” For her work on the Court and in the virtual classroom, Justice O’Connor was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest citizen award.
In many respects, Justice O’Connor’s life of service and leadership is a model for all of us. We can express our respect and appreciation for her commitment to the service of this nation with equal commitment to one another and to the fair and accessible justice for all.