Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, First Woman to Sit on the Supreme Court, Dead at 93

Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice on the Supreme Court, has died.

Justice O’Connor passed away Friday morning in Phoenix, AZ … the court announced her death in a statement, saying she died, “of complications related to advanced dementia, probably Alzheimer’s, and a respiratory illness.”

O’Connor made history in 1981 when she was appointed to the High Court by President Ronald Reagan. She was considered a moderate conservative, and often made the difference on the 9-person Court when it came to momentous decisions.

The Stanford Law School grad tackled the biggest social issues in the country, including abortion, affirmative action, and even presidential elections. She voted in 2000 to stop the recount in Florida in the race between Al Gore and George W. Bush … her vote was part of the majority that secured Bush’s election.

After leaving the Court in 2006, she bemoaned how it had swung way to the right, undoing some of her decisions over her 24-year tenure.

Chief Justice John Roberts said of Justice O’Connor, “A daughter of the American Southwest, Sandra Day O’Connor blazed an historic trail as our Nation’s first female Justice. She met that challenge with undaunted determination, indisputable ability, and engaging candor.”

Five women have followed in O’Connor’s footsteps … Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson.

O’Connor was 93.


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