Sandra Day O'Connor, First Female US Supreme Court Justice, Dies at 93 | World News
Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve as a US Supreme Court officer, died at 93 in Phoenix. She battled dementia.
Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve as an officer of justice at the United States Supreme Court, passed away at the age of 93 in Phoenix, as reported by The New York Times. The US Supreme Court announced her death, citing complications of dementia as the cause. O'Connor, who grew up in Arizona and lived there for most of her life, played a significant role in shaping the law on polarizing issues such as affirmative action, abortion, voting rights, religion, federalism, and sex discrimination. Chief Justice John Roberts described her as a "daughter of the American Southwest" who blazed a historic trail as the nation's first female Justice.
Appointed by Republican former President Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s, O'Connor's tenure coincided with a shift to the right in the United States, with conservative groups seeking to influence the country's judicial landscape. Despite her personal conservatism, O'Connor played a key role in reaffirming the 1973 decision Roe v Wade, which established abortion as a constitutional right in the US. She famously stated in court that while some individuals may find abortion morally offensive, it cannot dictate the decision, and the obligation of the court is to define the liberty of all, not to impose a moral code.
O'Connor was also part of the majority that awarded the contested 2000 election to former President George W. Bush, a decision that halted a recount effort in Florida that could have reversed Bush's victory. In 2018, at the age of 88, she publicly announced her diagnosis of the beginning stages of dementia, likely Alzheimer's disease, and withdrew from public life. Despite this, she remained active in retirement, serving as a visiting judge on federal appeals courts, advocating for judicial independence and civics education, and writing children's books based on her childhood experiences on an Arizona ranch. Her legacy as a trailblazing woman in the legal profession and her impact on key legal decisions will be remembered for generations to come.