Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, former solicitor general Ted Olson, law professor Stephen Carter, chief judge of the State of New York Judith S. Kaye and Georgetown Law Center O'Connor Project director Meryl Chertoff discuss the pioneering nature of the tenures of O'Connor and Kaye.
Stephen L. Carter
Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, where he has taught since 1982. A prolific writer who has published seven critically acclaimed nonfiction books, including The Violence of Peace: America’s Wars in the Age of Obama, during the past nine years, he has helped shape the national debate on issues ranging from the role of religion in our politics and culture to the role of integrity and civility in our daily lives. His novel The Emperor of Ocean Park spent eleven weeks on The New York Times best-seller list. His fifth novel, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, will be published this summer. He writes a regular column for Bloomberg and contributes frequently to Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Carter is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a trustee of the Aspen Institute.
Meryl Justin Chertoff is Executive Director of The Aspen Institute’s Justice and Society Program. She is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law, where she teaches about state government, intergovernmental affairs and state courts.
Judith S. Kaye is chief judge of the State of New York and the first woman to occupy the state judiciary's highest office.
In 1983, she became the first woman to serve on New York State's highest court when she was appointed associate judge of the Court of Appeals.
Her current posts also include chair of the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, founding member and honorary chair of Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, and member of the board of editors for the New York State.
She has served as president of the Conference of Chief Justices and has chaired the board of directors of the National Center for State Courts.
She is the author of many articles dealing with legal process, state constitutional law, women in law, and professional ethics.
Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor is a retired Associate Justice. She was born in El Paso, Texas, March 26, 1930. She received her B.A. and LL.B. from Stanford University.
She served as Deputy County Attorney of San Mateo County, California from 1952-1953 and as a civilian attorney for Quartermaster Market Center, Frankfurt, Germany from 1954-1957.
From 1958-1960, she practiced law in Maryvale, Arizona, and served as Assistant Attorney General of Arizona from 1965-1969. She was appointed to the Arizona State Senate in 1969 and was subsequently reelected to two two-year terms. In 1975 she was elected Judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court and served until 1979, when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals.
President Reagan nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she took her seat September 25, 1981. Justice O'Connor retired from the Supreme Court on January 31, 2006.
Theodore B. Olson
Theodore B. Olson is a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher. He was US solicitor general from 2001 to 2004 and assistant attorney general from 1981 to 1984. Olson has argued 60 US Supreme Court cases (75 percent successfully), including two Bush v. Gore cases, Citizens United, and the challenge to California's Proposition 8. He serves on the Council of the Administrative Conference and on the boards of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and the National Center for State Courts. Olson has received several prestigious awards; he made TIME magazine's Time 100 list and was one of Huffington Post's 100 Gamechangers.