Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court, will lie in repose in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court this morning. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and served on the court until her retirement in 2006.
Sandra Day O’Connor served the nation as a Justice of the Supreme Court for 25 years, making historic decisions that have changed the course of history. Her legacy extends beyond the Supreme Court, as she served as a role model and leader for women, demonstrating that they too can enter the most revered of legal professions.
O’Connor was from El Paso, Texas, and attended Stanford University School of Law in 1952. She was later appointed to the Arizona Senate, becoming its first female majority leader in 1969. Her ascent to the Supreme Court continued her career as a trailblazer and a light for women everywhere.
Her opinions on the court were often narrow in scope, yet determined with passion and conviction. She wrote several major opinions, including a retirement age for firefighters in 1989, the overturning of the Stenberg v. Carhart abortion case in 2000 and her concurring opinion in Bush v. Gore in 2000.
While these opinions shaped American law, her legacy also includes her efforts to promote civics education. She worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the importance of a strong government by educating citizens on their responsibilities to society.
Sandra Day O’Connor’s passing is a tragedy, but her memory and legacy will live on for generations. She was a role model for people of every gender and background and an unparalleled champion of justice and equality. She will be remembered as an icon of justice and a symbol of hope and courage, and as such, her passing should be remembered and celebrated.