'This Week' in History: Inside the Supreme Court

An Exclusive Interview with Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer from 2003

May 16, 2010— -- If President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan gets confirmed by Congress, she will become the fourth female justice on the high court. But up until 1981 all of the decisions issued by the United States Supreme Court had been written by men.

That's when President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to serve on the bench of the Supreme Court – the first time a woman was named for the coveted appointment.

In 2003, George Stephanopoulos sat down with her and Justice Stephen Breyer to discuss, among other issues, the role of the court in American society and the extent to which the gender and experiences of a justice matter.

"I can't see that on the issues that we address at the court," Justice O'Connor said on 'This Week,' "that a wise old woman is going to decide a case differently than a wise old man." Justice Breyer agreed, saying the issues taken up by the Supreme Court are "very human questions" and claims he hasn't noticed any "gender-based differences."

When asked about diversity, Justice O'Connor argued that the court is strengthened by having justices of different backgrounds. "You don't want nine clones," she said. "We've had diverse courts over the years, and I think that's worked well."

Watch George Stephanopoulos's interview with Justices O'Connor and Breyer from July 6, 2003. Then, tune into 'This Week' on Sunday as the leading members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy and Jeff Sessions, outline the road ahead for Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings and discuss the prospects of her serving as the newest justice of the Supreme Court.