Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Still Swinging for Justice At Age 79

Just a few more words about retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, from Arizona. After decades on the High Court, having served her country and her career in law, she is entitled to lay back, relax, and retire, catch a few games in Arizona.

But here she is at the age of 79, going strong and touring the country to promote a Web-based civics instruction program called Our Courts, found at

''Today, civics, government and indeed American history are being pushed out of the classroom, and the results are as dismal as they are unsurprising,'' O'Connor said, adding that nearly half the states no longer require civics and American history. She said surveys show that three-quarters of Americans cannot distinguish between a judge and a legislator.

She came to Florida this week and cajoled Tallahassee legislators. But they may not be listening. There is a civics bill pending, but it is stalled in the House, the Herald reported today. Bummer.

Committee chairwoman Rep. Anitere Flores of Miami said there was concern about fiscal implications -- few new spending measures are being approved in the tight budget year .

''Listening to Justice O'Connor's message today, we know the importance of civics,'' Flores said. So do something about it other than talk.

O'Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and became the first woman justice. She addressed our state legislature for 13 minutes. ``We have a long way to go to rejuvenate our nation's commitment to building good citizens. But it does start with you, our nation's legislators. And I'm confident that you're going to continue to give this subject the attention it deserves.''
Well she is more confident than I am. Our kids have been underfunded and undercared for by our legislature for decades.

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