PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Sandra Day O'Connor Views Alice Paul (Transcript)


SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR: So, here we are in my chambers. And it has such a nice view of the Capitol. It’s a stunning view.

 
KATIE COURIC: And you also have a very interesting view of uh — a red brick house, or building …
 
SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR:  I do.
 
KATIE COURIC: … that’s really quite meaningful.
 
SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR:  Right over here, the red brick house belonged to Alice Paul, who was one of the suffragettes who worked so hard to get women the right to vote.
 
And she formed the National Women’s Party. And she had worked for years with Carrie Chapman Catt and the other suffragettes, who every year would petition Congress and talked to them and tried to get an amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote and send it to the states and Congress wouldn’t do it.
 
And Alice Paul said, “Well now look: we’re gonna go down and picket the White House,” which she did with a group of women. And they were promptly arrested and put in jail for picketing. And they were force-fed and kept under terrible conditions. And finally, the President ordered their release. And shortly thereafter, he said if Congress wanted to pass that legislation, he wouldn’t try to block it. And Congress did, finally, submit it to the states, where it passed, finally, by about one [laughs] vote.
 
KATIE COURIC: Giving women the right to vote?
 
SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR:  Giving women the right to vote. And that woman played a very important role in that.

KATIE COURIC: And you also have a very interesting view of uh — a red brick house, or building …

SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR:  I do.

KATIE COURIC: … that’s really quite meaningful.

SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR:  Right over here, the red brick house belonged to Alice Paul, who was one of the suffragettes who worked so hard to get women the right to vote.

And she formed the National Women’s Party. And she had worked for years with Carrie Chapman Catt and the other suffragettes, who every year would petition Congress and talked to them and tried to get an amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote and send it to the states and Congress wouldn’t do it.

And Alice Paul said, “Well now look: we’re gonna go down and picket the White House,” which she did with a group of women. And they were promptly arrested and put in jail for picketing. And they were force-fed and kept under terrible conditions. And finally, the President ordered their release. And shortly thereafter, he said if Congress wanted to pass that legislation, he wouldn’t try to block it. And Congress did, finally, submit it to the states, where it passed, finally, by about one [laughs] vote.

KATIE COURIC: Giving women the right to vote?

SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR:  Giving women the right to vote. And that woman played a very important role in that.