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March 2007

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


O'Connor Project To Continue Work On Fair and Independent Courts

The Sandra Day O’Connor Project on the State of the Judiciary has been established at Georgetown University Law Center. The project springs from the Fair and Independent Courts Conference held last fall at Georgetown Law and co-chaired by Justices O’Connor and Stephen Breyer.

The O’Connor Project will continue the work begun at the conference. Recommendations made by conference participants on how to support and enhance the functioning of the Judiciary at federal and state levels will be circulated to all federal judges and state Supreme Court chief justices. Conference proceedings and scholarly background materials will be published and an interactive online product will be developed for secondary school students on the role of the Judiciary. The project also will monitor developments in the 110th Congress on federal judicial salaries.

Regional conferences in Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago and other cities, along with additional panel discussions and symposia on judicial independence are planned. In addition, a conference on state court judicial selection and elections will be held at Georgetown Law in Fall 2007.

Both O’Connor and Breyer will be members of the project’s steering committee, with Georgetown Law Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff; former Solicitor General Theodore Olson; former Senator Warren Rudman (R-N.H.); Larry Thompson, General Counsel of PepsiCo and former Deputy Attorney General; former White House Chief of Staff Kenneth Duberstein; and three state Supreme Court chief justices. Meryl Justin Chertoff, project director for the Fair and Independent Courts Conference, has been named director of the O’Connor Project.