Sept. 21 – Sandra Day O’Connor

GabeBell Ringers, Government(BR)

On Sept. 21, 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female justice on the Supreme Court. She was appointed by Ronald Reagan, and was considered a federalist (meaning that she believed the federal government should limit its interference in state matters), and a moderate.

Among her most famous opinions was Grutter v. Bollinger, a landmark affirmative action case, in which she wrote that while the University of Michigan Law School had a compelling interest in using race as a criterion for obtaining the educational benefits of a diverse student body, but the “Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”

  1. Almost 15 years have passed since that opinion was written. Do you think we are now closer to no longer needing race-based preferences?
  2. Reflecting on the quote above, do you think agree or disagree that we should organize our society on the basis of ability? Why or why not?

Image Citation:

13, Sept. 2018, Picture of Sandra Day O’Connor along with a quote [Digital image].  Retrieved from <>.