Sandra Day O’Connor, died at 93, was a first female justice of the US Supreme Court

Sandra Day O'Connor
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Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O’Connor

According to the court, she passed away in glory Phoenix on Friday due to complications from a lung ailment and profound dementia.
Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice to serve on the US Supreme Court and a steadfast advocate for moderate conservatism, passed away. She was ninety-three when she passed away.

191 years of male exclusivity on the high court came to an end with President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of O’Connor in 1981 and the Senate’s confirmation of her appointment.

O’Connor, an Arizona native who was raised on her family’s expansive ranch, did not take long to establish a reputation as a diligent worker with significant political influence on the nine-member court. O’Connor had an innately strong and independent character, born of her pioneer grandmother who migrated west from Vermont and established the family ranch some thirty years before Arizona became a state. She was taught to drive trucks and tractors, round up cattle, and ride horses at a young age while growing up in the isolated outback.

O’Connor, who left the country’s top court in 2006, was diagnosed with dementia in her latter years. In October 2018, she made the announcement that she was leaving the public eye.

The already conservative court shifted even further to the right when the more ideologically rigorous conservative Justice Samuel Alito took the place of the pragmatic Westerner, nominated by Republican former President George W. Bush.

O’Connor, who was raised in a ranching family in Arizona, had to make her way through the male-dominated fields of law in the nation’s capital and politics in her home state. Almost two centuries after the Supreme Court was founded in 1789, she became the first female justice when Republican President Ronald Reagan appointed her to the court in 1981. Nevertheless, her significance in history went beyond shattering stereotypes that only men could hold.

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