After taking in oral arguments at the Supreme Court Tuesday morning, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor went to the set of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show as a guest.
The appearance gave O’Connor, who went on the show to promote her civics website www.ourcourts.org, a chance to show off her comic skills. And she held her own against the show’s host, Jon Stewart.
“You were known in your days as a moderate justice, one that was not ideological. So clearly you would not be able to be on the Court today,” Stewart joked.
“I don’t know, I was just a cowgirl,” O’Connor laughed, “and they don’t have too many of those around these days.”
“And you were the first woman on the Court,” Steward noted.
“The first cowgirl!” O’Connor interjected, drawing laughs from the crowd.
When O’Connor spoke of often having to break 4-4 ties on the Court during her tenure, and Stewart referred to her as a swing justice, she objected.
“We don’t use that word – swing,” she said. “I mean, come on,” she continued before making a swinging noise and swinging her hands from side to side to the audience’s delight. “No, no-no!”
Steward corrected himself, calling her instead “the most principled justice.”
“There you go!” O’Connor said. “Much better! Much better.
“He’s a fast learner,” she told the audience, who again erupted in laughter, applause and hoots.
See the video here on Comedy Central’s website.