The Establishment Clause prohibits government from making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a person's standing in the political community.— Sandra Day O'Connor
The most successful Sandra Day O'Connor quotes that will activate your desire to change
Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.
Unfortunately civility is hard to codify or legislate, but you know it when you see it. It's possible to disagree without being disagreeable.
We don't accomplish anything in this world alone.
Be aware that even before you have reached your ultimate professional destination, if you always strive for excellence, you can and should have a substantial impact on the world in which you live.
How dare you make my life a felony.
This chance will stand before you only once.
The power I exert on the court depends on the power of the power of my arguments, not my gender
I don't know that there are any short cuts to doing a good job.
The proper role of the judiciary is one of interpreting and applying the law, not making it.
It matters enormously to a successful democratic society like ours that we have three branches of government, each with some independence and some control over the other two. Thats set out in the Constitution.
I do not believe it is the function of the judiciary to step in and change the law because the times have changed. I do well understand the difference between legislating and judging. As a judge, it is not my function to develop public policy.
A moment of silence is not inherently religious.
The family unit plays a critical role in our society and in the training of the generation to come.
Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt.
Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?
The Constitution does not protect the sovereignty of States for the benefit of the States or state governments as abstract political entities, or even for the benefit of the public officials governing the States. To the contrary, the Constitution divides authority between federal and state governments for the protection of individuals.
It is a measure of the framers' fear that a passing majority might find it expedient to compromise 4th Amendment values that these values were embodied in the Constitution itself.
Having family responsibilities and concerns just has to make you a more understanding person.
So how as a nation can we sit around and eat Mexican food, and drink beer and make friends? That's the question. If we can do that on a broader scale, I think we'll come out of it all right.
If I stumbled badly in doing the job, I think it would have made life more difficult for women, and that was a great concern of mine and still is.
The fact is that knowledge about the Constitution and the Court is not something that is handed down through the gene pool; every generation has to learn it. And I'm not sure the recent generations have done that good a job of learning about it.
It's hard to have little children and a job and career at the same time.
There is no time left for you as a woman.
It is difficult to discern a serious threat to religious liberty from a room of silent, thoughtful schoolchildren.
Statutes authorizing unreasonable searches were the core concern of the framers of the 4th Amendment.
Slaying the dragon of delay is no sport for the short-winded.
If statistics are any indication, the system may well be allowing some innocent defendants to be executed.
My hope is that 10 years from now, after I've been across the street at work for a while, they'll all be glad they gave me that wonderful vote.
Cyberspace undeniably reflects some form of geography.
You have citizens who don't understand how government works and they're kind of soured on it. All they do is criticize. They have no idea that they can make things happen.
What the framers of the Constitution tried to achieve when they wrote that Constitution back in the 1700s was an independent federal judiciary. They wanted federal judges to be appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and to serve for good behavior.
We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.
The unhappy persistence of both the practice and the lingering effects of racial discrimination ...is an unfortunate reality...and the government is not disqualified from acting in response to it.
The prima facie evidence provision in this case ignores all of the contextual factors that are necessary to decide whether a particular cross burning is intended to intimidate. The First Amendment does not permit such a shortcut.
Suppose you had a cross burning in a play or a movie... Would that be intimidating?
The whole idea of a public education was to train young people about how our system of government works, so they could be good citizens and be part of it. We're not doing that today.
[G]overnment endorsement . . . of religion . . . sends a message to nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.
In my work a good library is essential.
It enables me to learn the background and previous discussions of the various issues I am called upon to decide. It provides the stability and continuity for the rule of law.
I didn't want to be out of order answering any questions.
I finally gave up my little law practice and stayed home for about three years.
You have to do what you can to keep the family going. But I wanted to get back to work. So I got another babysitter and went to work as an Assistant Attorney General.
A fundamental premise of American democratic theory is that government exists to serve the people. ... Public records are one portal through which the people observe their government, ensuring its accountability, integrity, and equity while minimizing sovereign mischief and malfeasance
The purpose prong of the Lemon test requires that a government activity have a secular purpose. That requirement is not satisfied, however, by the mere existence of some secular purpose, however dominated by religious purposes... The proper inquiry under the purpose prong of Lemon, I submit, is whether the government intends to convey a message of endorsement or disapproval of religion.
I think most people didn't want to do court duty.
The really expert riders of horses let the horse know immediately who is in control, but then they guide the horse with loose reins and very seldom use the spurs. So it was with our chief [William Rehnquist]. He guided us with loose reins and used the spurs only rarely to get us up to speed with our work.
I think it's inevitable that some of the court's decisions will be found by a segment of the public to be not the right decision or subject to criticism.
I like to think that the court will continue to be held in high regard by the public. I think it should be.
[Court] is an institution that depends on making tough decisions in close cases for reasons that it explains well and that, in the past at least, have proven satisfactory to the public.
It is true that many Americans find the Commandments in accord with their personal beliefs. But we do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment.
If a State refused to let religious groups use facilities open to others, then it would demonstrate not neutrality but hostility toward religion.
The government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result.