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Topic: Gender bias

Christine Downey, Kansas

Interview of Christine Downey, August 2, 2019

Interviewed by Dale Goter
Former State Senator Christine Downey recalls her three terms in the Kansas Senate (1993-2004) during her 2019 oral history interview. With her background as a teacher, education issues were important to her as the era of school-funding litigation continued. She was involved in water-related policy making, in particular at the nexus of water quality and agricultural practices. She recalls her service in the Senate and on the Kansas Board of Regents first developing the policy and then implementing fundamental changes to the postsecondary education system. Ms. Downey discusses numerous instances of working across the aisle Show Moreto accomplish policy objectives that did not break on strict party lines. Show Less

Interview of Deanell Tacha, April 12, 2023

Interviewed by Jim Concannon
Jim Concannon skillfully guides retired Judge Tacha through an interview that probes her background, reasons for becoming a lawyer, and then a judge of the United States Court of Appeals, and her career in public service as an administrator and professor of law. Tacha spoke about how women were treated in law school and in her early law practice. She advocated for the advancement of women in law and the workplace. Tacha credits Bob Dole for her nomination to the Court of Appeals. She compares the federal system of selecting judges with the Kansas merit selection Show Moresystem and prefers the Kansas nonpartisan system. Her explanation of how the federal judiciary is organized is clear and instructive, especially as to what kinds of cases they hear. She relates an interesting story about her trip to Albania to assist with developing a new constitution for the country, discusses her experience as Dean of the Law School at Pepperdine University and closes with a plea for "thoughtful, civilized discourse". Show Less
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