Week 151


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Remembering Sandra Day O'Connor

#WeekInJustice: Week 151

The Week in Review is ordinarily dedicated to sharing some highlights about what occurred in the Justice System in the week leading up to every Friday. However, there are some days when the Weekly gets scrapped in light of news that develops at the last minute, and the passing of the nation’s first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, is just such an occasion.

While attending law school in the early 2000s, I was blessed with the opportunity here at the University of Arizona to learn both from extraordinary female law professors and a fabulous female Dean of the Law College. So many of them told stories of Justice O’Connor, and how she had inspired them to enter the field of law.

Thereafter, I immediately took note of how many female attorneys were practicing in criminal law, prosecuting violent crime. My predecessor Barbara LaWall was a rare female law student, an even more rare violent crime prosecutor, and nearly unheard of later as a female head of office. She played her own significant role in Pima County promoting women in the law.

But it’s the image of O’Connor, the little Arizona girl, working her parents’ ranch that motivated so many to dream big.

Stories are being shared here today at the People’s Office of having the chance to meet her, studying her work, and even appearing before her at oral argument. Even four years removed from her departure at the Supremes, she was pitching in to help the busy 9th Circuit when Assistant Civil Chief Dan Jurkowitz had the chance to argue before her in Harvey v. Brewer, 605 F.3d 1067 (9th Cir. 2010). I agree with Victim Services Director Virginia Rodriguez that the day is a sad one, but may the legacy the Justice has left behind continue to blossom from the Lazy B Ranch and throughout the Nation.

To be continued, 


Laura Conover

Laura Conover

Pima County Attorney

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