(CBS News) - Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor discussed her new book, diversity in the Supreme Court and the thing she carries with her everywhere, on CBS This Morning.
Speaking about her legacy, O'Connor told Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell: "I would like it to be that I was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court and that I did a decent job. I think that's a good legacy."
Excerpts and video of the interview are below.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Do you miss it?
O'CONNOR: Well, in a way, but I had been there 25 years and it's plenty of hard work, and I thought it was time to maybe do something else. You know, I have a big project that I'm doing, do you know about that? It's called iCivics. Our country has stopped teaching civics to young people and I think that's unacceptable. The only reason we got public schools in this country is through people saying, "Look, we developed a remarkable system of government and a constitution, and we need to teach young people about that." That was why we got schools.
ROSE: You heard us say you were one of the most important women in American history, if not the most important. What do you want your legacy to be?
O'CONNOR: Well, I don't accept that grandiose statement, let's put it that way.
ROSE: So tell me what you'd like your legacy to be.
O'CONNOR: I would like it to be that I was the first woman to serve on the court and that I did a decent job. I think that's a good legacy.
ROSE: What do you miss the most about the court though?
O'CONNOR: Just the interest that you had in seeing what cases were coming and how you can solve them. It's a challenge, but an interesting one. You feel like you're having a useful role.
O'DONNELL: You of course were the first woman on the Supreme Court. We begin women's history month this month. What do you think is the biggest challenge in getting women into leadership positions? And are you surprised by still how there are so few women in those positions?
O'CONNOR: Well it's coming along. It's much better than it was when I started life. I think it will continue to reflect the competence of women as we go forward, it just takes a lot of time.
O'DONNELL: We just showed the picture of four women justices on the Supreme Court. Progress?
O'CONNOR: It is progress. It's big progress, in my opinion.
O'DONNELL: And you still get to see them. Because as many people may not know, you have an office at the Supreme Court.
O'CONNOR: I do, I'm so privileged. And I still sit on cases with the Federal Courts of Appeal around the country.
ROSE: You're one of the many people I know who carry a copy of the Constitution in your pocket.
O'CONNOR: I do, I do always. I have that with me.
O'DONNELL: Why do you carry it with you?
O'CONNOR: Because I revere our Constitution. In my job on the court, that is what we were concerned about. What does the Constitution require?
ROSE: On the subject of diversity by the president, remolds the federal bench looking for diversity. That seems to be a good idea that reflects the changing demographics of the country.
O'CONNOR: Well I think the body of federal judges is very small, and what we want is quality, we want competence in the judges. I don't think we're looking for diversity as such. I think they're looking for competent, talented judges. That's #1.
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