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January 28, 2014

Sandra Day O’Connor to speak at OU

NORMAN — The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1981 to 2006, will speak at a President’s Associates dinner at the University of Oklahoma on Feb. 6.

Prior to dinner, O’Connor will deliver the Henry Lecture to students at the OU College of Law.

Often referred to as the most influential woman in America, O’Connor became the first woman named to the country’s highest court after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

“We are honored to have Justice O’Connor visit the university,” President David L. Boren said. “Her visit is especially timely, as we consider the independent role of the judiciary in our state.”

During her tenure on the Supreme Court, O’Connor was known for her dispassionate and meticulously researched opinions.

O’Connor was a proponent of state autonomy, arguing that the framers of the Constitution intended for the federal government to institute its regulations itself, not force the states to do it for them. Her support for state rights has been traced by many back to her experience in state government.

After serving as the first woman majority leader in the United States from 1972 to 1974, she became a trial judge in Phoenix. In 1979, the newly elected Democratic governor nominated O’Connor to the Arizona Court of Appeals. Less than two years later, she was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.

She also is the author of several books, including the recently published “Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court.”

Limited seating is available by reservation for OU students, faculty and staff, with overflow seating available to the public. For more information, call OU Public Affairs at 325-3784 or email specialevents@ou.edu.

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