Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Interesting O'Connor perspectives...

Slate has a interesting series of perspectives by several of their legal columnists here. These comments are from Emily Bazelon (Slate senior editor), Oona A. Hathaway (associate professor of law at Yale Law School and a former law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor), and Dahlia Lithwick (Slate senior editor) respectively.

What I find most intersting about these peices is their inclusion of importance of the non-legal Ms. Justice O'Connor. I think that often, when we think about a jurist's legacy, oftentimes their non-legal lives gets lost or glossed-over. But in the case of J. O'Connor, we need to remember the tremendous impact she's had on the legal and public landscape far beyond the words of her opinions. Quoting Lithwick:
At the risk of waxing personal for a moment, I offer one thought about what O'Connor means to me: Perhaps it's because I write this while officially out on maternity leave—rocking my infant son in his bouncy chair under my desk as I type—but to me, O'Connor truly models the feminist dream. She managed to "have it all" simply by being braver than everyone else—trusting that she could drop out of the workforce to raise three boys and come back to a good job—and by showing a kind of relentless focus that most women of our generation have not yet mastered. It seems to me that when she was a mother, she was fully a mother; when she was a politician, she was fully a politician; and when she was a jurist, she was fully a jurist. And now she's most likely keeping her promise to spend more time with her family. Good for her. She has earned it.

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