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Honoring the Legacy of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

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Honoring the Legacy of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Empty Honoring the Legacy of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Post by Paul Fri 01 Dec 2023, 9:56 am

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer released the following statement regarding the passing of former Supreme Court Justice and Maricopa County Resident Sandra Day O’Connor:

"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor exemplified the best of Arizona and our entire county. As the first woman on the Supreme Court, Justice O’Connor broke barriers, championed integrity, and defended the rule of the law. Justice O’Connor was a steadfast leader in Arizona, and she is a perfect example of why so many of us are proud to call the Grand Canyon State home. The impact of her legacy will be felt for generations to come."




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Honoring the Legacy of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Empty Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman on US Supreme Court, dies at 93 in Phoenix

Post by Paul Fri 01 Dec 2023, 10:05 am

Honoring the Legacy of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Scree128

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court justice and a trailblazer for women in politics and law, died on Friday morning. She was 93 years old. According to the Supreme Court, O’Connor died of complications related to advanced dementia, possibly Alzheimer’s, and a respiratory illness.
While O’Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, on March 26, 1930, she grew up at her family’s cattle ranch in southeastern Arizona. She graduated from the Radford School for Girls in El Paso two years early and was accepted to Stanford University in 1946, starting college at age 16. An economics professor inspired her to study law and after graduating, she enrolled in Stanford Law School as one of five women in her class. She completed law school in just two years instead of the usual three and was third in her class. One of the students ahead of her was fellow future U.S. Supreme Court Justice William H. Rehnquist. Law school is where she met her husband, John Jay O’Connor. They got married shortly after graduation.
Despite her academic achievements, it was tough for her to get a job at a law firm because she was a woman. She eventually got a position as deputy county attorney for San Mateo County in California. But her stint there was brief, as she moved to Germany when her husband was stationed there. She moved to Phoenix in 1957, where she was admitted to the Bar and had three sons.
In 1965, she became Arizona’s assistant attorney general and four years later, she was appointed to the Arizona Senate to fill a vacated seat. She was elected as a Republican in 1970 and then reelected in 1972. O’Connor then became the first woman in the U.S. to be the majority leader of a state legislature. She helped repeal a 1913 Arizona law banning women from working more than eight hours a day.




She was then elected as a judge to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1974 and served until 1979. Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt then appointed her to the Arizona Court of Appeals. On July 7, 1981, President Ronald Reagan announced O’Connor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. She was later confirmed 99-0 and sworn in in September 1981.
She spent nearly 25 years as a justice on the nation’s highest court where many considered her as a “swing vote,” a label she heavily disliked. She authored 676 opinions in her career, 301 of which were the Opinion of the Court, touching on a wide range of issues. In 1982, she wrote an opinion getting rid of a women-only enrollment policy at a Mississippi State nursing school. In 1992, she was the swing vote that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade in the abortion rights case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. She joined four other justices in 2000′s Bush v. Gore case that stopped challenges to the results of the 2000 presidential election. She helped affirm most of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill regulating “soft money” was constitutional.
She retired in 2006 and Samuel Alito replaced her. She then helped develop a free program for students to learn about the U.S. court system called iCivics. In 2009, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the U.S. In 2018, she announced she was diagnosed with early-stage dementia and hasn’t been in public life since.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts released a statement following O’Connor’s death. “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. We at the Supreme Court mourn the loss of a beloved colleague, a fiercely independent defender of the rule of law, and an eloquent advocate for civics education. And we celebrate her enduring legacy as a true public servant and patriot,” he said.
O’Connor is survived by her three sons, Scott (Joanie) O’Connor, Brian (Shawn) O’Connor, and Jay (Heather) O’Connor, six grandchildren: Courtney, Adam, Keely, Weston, Dylan and Luke, and her brother and co-author, Alan Day, Sr. Her husband, John O’Connor, preceded her in death in 2009.

Reaction from politicians, others

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

“Justice Sandra Day O’Connor – Arizona’s original cowgirl – paved the way for countless women like me in law and life. She was fiercely independent just like Arizona, and she worked tirelessly to do what’s best for our state and country. Arizona and America are grateful for her service and leadership.
“My heart is with her family and loved ones. Our state and country will miss her dearly.”

Rep. Greg Stanton

“Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spent her life breaking down barriers in the pursuit of a more just society.
She blazed every trail she set foot on—defying the odds stacked against women in the legal profession to rise to become Arizona’s assistant attorney general, our first female majority leader in the state Senate, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge, and ultimately our first female justice on the United States Supreme Court. She brought her Arizona brand of pragmatism and independence with her to the Supreme Court and was often the swing vote on consequential decisions.
In the years since her retirement from the Court, I’ve admired her steadfast commitment to preserving our democracy through objective, fact-based and collaborative civil discourse. Her work will inspire future generations to follow her example to become engaged and thoughtful civic participants.
My prayers and condolences are with the O’Connor family and her colleagues at the O’Connor Institute.”

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes

“The loss of Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is a hard hit for Arizona, our legal community and for me as a longtime admirer. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.”

Former Gov. Doug Ducey

“Ronald Reagan put it best when he called Justice O’Connor a “person for all seasons.” Her life and career are a testament to hard work, determination, Western grit and the American dream. From the Arizona Senate to the United States Supreme Court, she broke barriers and shattered any ceiling that stood in her way. Justice O’Connor was a force of nature, with a keen grasp on basic common sense. Her legacy must be remembered, and her life and lessons learned by every American child. Angela and I pray for her entire family. May she rest in peace.”

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego

“Sandra Day O’Connor was a trailblazing inspiration for women, especially those of us in Arizona. With her unique grit, O’Connor took any ‘no’ she got and turned it into a ‘watch me!’ — leading her all the way to the Supreme Court. Her legacy is forever etched in our memories.”

Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee

“Sandra Day O’Connor was the 1st female Senate Majority Leader in Arizona in 1973. I became the 2nd female Senate Majority Leader 44 years later. She was a trailblazer, worked across the aisle and believed in civil discourse. She was an inspiration to me and women around the world.”

Former Gov. Jan Brewer

“Today we lost an Arizona treasure and icon. Sandra Day O’Connor was America’s 1st female US Supreme Court Justice. From Arizona’s Lazy B Ranch all the way to the Supreme Court, she knew everyone could make a difference. RIP my friend.”

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer

“Sandra Day O’Connor exemplified the best of Arizona and our entire county. As the first woman on the Supreme Court, Justice O’Connor broke barriers, championed integrity, and upheld the rule of law. Justice O’Connor was a steadfast leader in Arizona, and she is a perfect example of why so many of us are proud to call the Grand Canyon State home. The impact of her legacy will be felt for generations to come.”

Cindy McCain

“Sandra Day O’Connor was an Arizonan and American trail blazer. A force of nature whom John and I were lucky to call our friend.”

Arizona House Democrats

Farewell to trail-blazing Arizona legend Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court justice, who has passed away at 93. Her unwavering commitment to the law and civics education will continue to reverberate. Our deepest condolences to her family.

Rep. David Schweikert

“Sandra Day O’Connor led a remarkable life as our nation’s first female Supreme Court Justice. An iconic daughter of Arizona, she blazed trails for women everywhere. She was an esteemed jurist who often played a pivotal role on the Supreme Court.
I was fortunate to first meet Justice O’Connor as a teenager when she was kind enough to spend a few minutes of her time with a group of Arizona Teenage Republicans from Saguaro High School at the Arizona State Capitol as she was making her meteoric rise in state politics, leaving a lasting impression that I still hold with me to this day.
She represented the best of Arizona throughout her extraordinary life, and we are better off because of her contributions and commitment to public service. My prayers are with her family as we mourn her passing.”
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Post by Paul Sat 02 Dec 2023, 10:31 pm

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BEFORE & AFTER

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