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Justice O'Connor's act of kindness reported

April 22, 2009

When cancer recently prevented Mitchell Alvarez from attending a ceremony where he would take his citizenship oath from Sandra Day O'Connor and fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming an American, the retired U.S. Supreme Court justice came to him instead.

As reported by Glen Creno in the April 18 edition of The Arizona Republic, Alvarez, 18, and his family were headed to Phoenix in March for a naturalization ceremony when a pain in his leg worsened. The young man was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma and hospitalized at Phoenix Children's Hospital to begin chemotherapy.

The Justice found out about it and arrived at the hospital on Friday, April 17, to erase Alvarez's worries that he'd have to put off indefinitely becoming a U.S. citizen. "I want you to know how welcome each of you are," Justice O'Connor told Alvarez and his two younger brothers, who also took the oath, Creno reported.

In March of 2006, the College of Law at Arizona State University was named in the justice's honor, and she frequently speaks and teaches there.

To read the full story, click here.

Janie Magruder,
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law