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1985_09_01--142_SP Her Honor Rancher's Daughter

46 THE SATURDAY EVENING POST September '85 Two ladies who have made their marks in history: Margaret Thatcher, first lady prime minister in Britain in 164 years of that office, and Sandra Day O'Connor, first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States since it was founded in 1789, met last year in London at the Anglo-American Legal Exchange. tions, she's not happy," quips Brian. He says there were occasions when he should have drawn the line—like the time he overheard his mother saying to someone on the phone, "Oh sure, Brian can escort your daughter at the debutante ball." But overall, he gives his mom credit for always doing that little bit extra to make their childhood special. For instance, he tells how for several years the O'Connors decided to celebrate Halloween by converting their home into a haunted house. Mama O'Connor dressed up like a wicked witch they were marvelous. They got the yellow pages to the phone book and called and called until they found a beekeeper who wanted the bees. He came and had some way of getting the queen and attracting the other bees and taking them off. I was told that if they hadn't acted in that fashion that we could have had a major catastrophe." When the working mother had to be away from the home, she tried to make sure the children were welloccupied. She often employed outstanding students to take her sons to events after school, on weekends or during the summer. The students also taught her sons sports, helped with homework and became cherished companions. Brian O'Connor, age 25, remembers how it was to grow up in the O'Connor household. The middle child, he says that no one really had time to dwell on the long hours his mother worked, mainly because she had them involved in so many activities. "You name it, we were signed up," he says, listing Spanish, golf, football and dancing lessons as just a few of the many activities she scheduled for them. He says that often his mother got home earlier than the kids. "If my mother is not busy organizing something or giving direc- The eight "brethren" flank the Supreme Court's first female member, Sandra Day O'Connor, and President Reagan, who defied tradition by appointing her. wearing a black robe of another sort, while papa O'Connor, alias Igor, made sure each child was sufficiently scared out of his wits as the "trick or treaters" toured the haunt. As the children grew older, Sandra O'Connor grew busier. After her five-year sabbatical and total indulgence in motherhood, she decided to join the work force again as an assistant attorney general in Ari- zona. Immediately given many new responsibilities, she familiarized herself with the Arizona state govern- ment. Not long after, there was an opening in O'Con- nor's Arizona state-senate district. She was appointed to the seat and ran success- fully for two more terms. She also served as the majority leader of the senate, which added pressure to her work. By 1975, ready for a change, Sandra Day O'Connor decided to run for the then elected position of superior- court judge in Maricopa County, northwest of Phoenix. She won the election and served there as a judge until 1979, when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals. The rest is history. In 1981, to replace the retiring Justice Potter Stewart, President Reagan chose 51- year-old Sandra Day O'Connor, "a person," he declared, "for all sea- sons." Luckily, the year before, the justices had decided to drop the "Mr." in front of "Justice," which until that time had been used in published opinions and official records for 190 years. Thus "Justice O'Connor" was a natural way to address her. The Court's annual term begins, by statute, on the first Monday in October and ends around July 4. To begin each session, the crier brings down his gavel and intones the centuries old "oyez" (pronounced "o-yay," and meaning "hear ye"). During each day the Supreme Court of the United States is in session, an invocation, "God bless this honorable Court," is pronounced upon its proceedings. As the justices gaze down from their august perch, they look upon the Ten Commandments graven upon the walls of their building.


1985_09_01--142_SP Her Honor Rancher's Daughter
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