1978 November 6

Sarah Weddington, “Roe” Lawyer, Appointed Counsel to President Carter


Sarah Weddington, a Texas lawyer, on this day was appointed a White House Counsel to President Jimmy Carter. She was one of a number of people with civil rights, civil liberties, and feminist backgrounds appointed by Carter to positions in his administration.

Weddington is famous for having argued the historic Roe v. Wade case before the Supreme Court, which successfully established a constitutional right to abortion on January 22, 1973. At the University of Texas Law School, she had been one of only five women among 120 law students. After graduating in 1967, she found it difficult to find a job with a law firm (as had Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg years earlier), so she and a group of other women began researching how to challenge state criminal abortion laws. After Roe, she served three terms in the Texas legislature.

Learn more at the Weddington Center: http://www.weddingtoncenter.com/

Watch Sarah Weddington discuss Roe v. Wade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQxASj_vcxk

Learn more: Sarah Weddington, A Question of Choice (1993)

Read an oral history interview with Weddington:  http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/library/exitInt/Weddington.pdf

Learn more about President Carter’s civil liberties record: Samuel Walker, Presidents and Civil Liberties From Wilson to Obama (2012)

Learn more about Carter’s post-presidential work at the Carter Center: http://www.cartercenter.org/index.html

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