Justice O'Connor's Robe
1981, American History Museum
A traditional garment symbolizes a commitment to the rule of law
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor writes in our 101 Objects Special Issue:
Read more of Justice O'Connor's essay.
The simple black judicial robe has been a part of my life for nearly four decades. I first wore one in 1975 when I became a trial judge in Arizona. When I was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, in 1981, I brought that same robe with me to Washington and wore it on my first day on the bench. Although I retired in 2006, I still wear a robe in my role as a “circuit-rider,” sitting frequently, as many retired justices do, on various federal Courts of Appeals across the country.