ERIC Number: ED232186
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Aug-8
Reference Count: N/A
A First Look at Sandra Day O'Connor and the First Amendment.
Schwartz, Thomas A.
First Amendment students were unhappy to see Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart retire because his voting record demonstrated a favorable attitude toward freedom of speech and press. His replacement, Sandra Day O'Connor, was predicted to be a conservative or moderate who probably would vote consistently with Stewart in other areas, but her predilections about freedom of expression were unknown. In 184 cases in her first term and a half, O'Connor tended to side with the conservative justices in both First Amendment and other cases. Her decisions and opinions articulate a view that the role of the Court is limited and that deference to the states and to the political branches of the federal government should be the norm. In 23 free speech and press cases, O'Connor tended to side with the majority and with conservative justices. Her assertions of the values in the First Amendment pale in comparison with those of Stewart and other justices. Previous justices have developed a better appreciation for the First Amendment over time, but O'Connor has not leaned in that direction and may have an especially difficult time in doing so because of her "first women justice" status. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment