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President Reagan Names First Woman to U.S. Supreme Court


Published September 10, 1981, It’s God’s World

President Reagan has chosen Mrs. Sandra O’Connor, 51, to serve on the United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the country. Mrs. O’Connor must now be approved by a vote of the U.S. Senate.

Mrs. O’Connor, an Arizona judge, is the first woman ever to be chosen to serve on the 191-year-old Court. A vacancy was created on the Supreme Court when Justice Potter Stewart resigned. The court must have nine justices, and the Constitution says they are to be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

President Reagan received praise from many people because he had chosen a woman, a promise he made during his election campaign. Many others praised Mrs. O’Connor as a fair and intelligent judge.

The President’s selection, however, received criticism from many who felt that Mrs. O’Connor approved of abortion. Telegrams to President Reagan ran ten to one against her nomination.

In a meeting with President Reagan, Mrs. O’Connor said she was personally against abortion. Some decisions she had made as an Arizona state senator caused Christians to wonder. But the evidence against Mrs. O’Connor was not too clear.

Christian leaders like Rev. Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority and Rev. Kurt Young of the Christian Action Council said they would wait and see before passing judgment. Senator Jesse Helms, a Christian senator from North Carolina, met with Mrs. O’Connor, and also announced that he would withhold judgment.


The President chose Mrs. O’Connor because of her beliefs about a judge’s duty. She believes, as does Mr. Reagan, that a judge should make decisions strictly on the basis of what the law says.

Many judges make decisions according to their own opinions, even when the law says something else. The President does not want judges who make their own laws.

Christians know that people should obey God’s law, and also the laws of the land. A judge who changes laws just because he doesn’t like them is really not respecting the law. A judge is only supposed to explain what the laws mean.

Mrs. O’Connor’s nomination has given Christians the opportunity to show their concern about what happens in the government. Christians are speaking up, because God’s word is important in every area of life.

Christians need to accept Mrs. O’Connor’s statement that she is against abortion, and then watch very closely to see that she will respect the rights of unborn children as a member of the Supreme Court.

  1. Why are Christians against abortion?
  2. God’s word is the standard for justice. In what ways can a Christian work for justice in government?
  3. What should Christians pray for as citizens of a country?
  4. Why do you think it is important to have justices on the Supreme Court who are against abortion?

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