Justice O'Connor's Brother Remarks On 40th Anniversary Of Her Supreme Court Confirmation

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Friday, September 24, 2021 - 1:54pm

Audio icon Download mp3 (1.66 MB)

LWS Literary Services
H. Alan Day is a longtime rancher and brother of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

This week marks a flashpoint in American history forged by one of Arizona’s own. It’s the 40th anniversary of Sandra Day O’Connor becoming the first woman confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Her brother, H. Alan Day, who lives in Tucson, recently spoke about his trailblazing sister on KJZZ’s “Word” podcast.  

“I was 10 years younger than Sandra, so I was just the little boy that was kind of in awe of his older sister, but when she got into Stanford at age 16, I was proud of her for that, but I guess I thought ‘hey if anybody can do that, it’s her,’” he remarked.  

Day said when O’Connor and a family friend were accepted to Stanford, it was the same year many World War II veterans in their 20s returned home and entered higher education.

“She and Beetsie were rooming together, but here were the only two in Stanford that had been raised on ranches and they were there the year that all these veterans were coming. At the end of the first year, they were rated No. 1 and No. 2 in their class," he said. 

In 2002, Justice O’Connor and Day released a memoir called “Lazy B,” about growing up in a cattle ranching family in the Southwest.

sandra day o
National Archives via Flickr
Chief Justice Warren Burger swears in Sandra Day O'Connor as a Supreme Court Justice while her husband, John O'Connor, watches on Sept. 25, 1981.