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In response to news of the passing of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Jon Greenbaum, chief counsel of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement:

“As we mourn the passing of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, we honor her trailblazing legacy as the first woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court and reflect on her important role at times in defending equality and justice under the law. Perhaps most notably, Justice O’Connor recognized the importance of diversity on college campuses, and in Grutter v. Bollinger was the decisive vote in preserving affirmative action as a critical tool to advance educational opportunities for racial minorities. 

“Writing for the majority in that case she stated that “effective participation by members of all racial and ethnic groups in the civic life of our nation is essential if the dream of one nation, indivisible, is to be realized.” At this present moment in our nation’s history, in which critical civil rights protections are being systematically dismantled, we must remember her words and work tirelessly in pursuit of equal and effective opportunity for all.”


About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under LawThe Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit