Sandra Day O'Connor praises Missouri for judicial selection plan

Friday, February 27, 2009 | 6:10 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor commended the state of Missouri on Friday for its process of selecting court judges. She said other states could learn from the Missouri plan and ultimately accomplish a more transparent, democratic system of law.

O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the nation's highest court, was the keynote speaker during a law review symposium at MU.

In a speech before a full auditorium in Cornell Hall, O'Connor said the selection and retention of good, honest judges touches every part of the country.

Her hourlong talk wove cautionary tales into the history of judicial selection in the country, including the impact of campaign contributions on the process.

O'Connor was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and served until her retirement in 2006.

Before her appointment, she was an elected official and judge in Arizona. She is currently the chancellor of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

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